It was the tale of two games, it was the best of games and it was the worst of games. It was close to mid-day and something evil was lurking in the park, under the sunlight we see a sight that almost stopped our hearts.
A wicket that was not giving much in the way of bounce and an outfield that was slower than a zombie walking towards you in a graveyard!
We closed our eyes and discovered we were fielding by choice! So it was that 11 white ghostlike men took their positions on a very slow outfield
What followed was not a horror movie but an incredibly smooth performance by everyone on the field, keeping it tight and putting a lot of pressure on the batsmen. The athleticism that was on show with some great fielding from the likes of Coops, Ash, Nik and Brendan to name a few, with Nik throwing in from mid on to hit the stumps and earned the respect of the batting side. Making them think before going for a single.
The bowling was equally well executed – if at times – expensive with a total of 15 wides but with some notable contributions from Grant – returning after a long spell of not bowling – to take a wicket fourth ball of his first over and Shehan taking 1 for 7.
Other notables were Ash who’s bowling kept the pressure on the opposition and Louay’s spell resulting in 2 for 30 – not sure what was more shocking – being asked to bowl or getting the 2 wickets or the cost of the very last over to the total!
Darjeeling closed out the 25 overs with Loose Cannons at 161 for 7 – a tough target on a slow pitch
The Halloween Match – The Batting
Darjeeling opened the batting with Coops and the birthday boy Rachitt and it started well but soon the demons were closing in one very side and the wickets started to tumble cheaply with yours truly coming in at 3 and scoring 2. It was thanks to the efforts of Shehan with a strong 22, Brendan with a steady 20, Coops with an aggressive 18 and Sunny’s 15 that steadied the ship.
The Loose Cannons pitched in very graciously with 28 wides, 3 leg byes and 2 byes to help the total, but at the end of the day even that was not enough to help us over the line and we were all out for 135
The horror of the fact that many of us hadn’t capitalized on what was tough ground to score boundaries on but not that challenging in terms of movement or pace dawned on a few and this required the intake of a few beers – bought by the birthday boy – to numb the senses!
The Halloween Match – The Drinking
The two teams adjourned to the bar to drown their sorrows and mingle. Everyone agreed that it was a great day despite the result and even enjoyed the fines session where the forfeit was – yes you guessed it – vodka sniffing which sorted the men from the boys!
Good day, good game, good spirits (not the ones floating around the room) and the end of a “thriller” of a weekend of cricket for the club.
Weather – windy & sunny with the odd A380 flying overhead Toss won by Dubai Mammoths, electing to bat first
The first game of the 2019 friendly XI calendar commenced with the Darjeeling skipper losing the toss as usual. The men of Darjeeling slapped on the sun cream entered the field of battle. The Mammoths openers started off strong, with an opening stand of about 100 before one of their openers retired. The Darjeeling openers bowled well at times, loose balls punished for boundaries. Andries 0-45 off 5, Ninja 0-19 off 3 overs, not bad for Ninja still recovering from his 6-month cold. Lanky & Badger misjudged a high catch in the windy conditions off Ninja. The Badger was bought on first change, 0-30 off 5 overs. There were a couple stumpings, decided not out by the Square Leg Umpire, who was spotted admiring A380s flying over the ground at 25,000 ft. Rachitt & Ollie came on to bowl, Rachitt picking up an LBW, 1-31 off 4 overs, Ollie clean bowling the number 3 bat after a several wides in the wind. Another close LBW was deemed not out, much to Ollies frustration after finally bowling a straight one bowling cross seam. Umer took a smart catch off Ollie at short mid-on, Van Damme finishing 2-31 off 4 overs. Club captain Nick came on to bowl, seen warming up from the 2nd over did not disappoint. A tidy spell, 2-25 off 4 overs, good catch from Ram in the deep and another clean bowled. The Mammoths finished on 186-5 off 25 overs, 25 extras, both keepers trying their best.
The Darjeeling chase was opened up by Charles and Casper. Contrasting batsman in style, Casper’s ‘Somerset-esque’ agricultural style rewarded him a 4 & 6, caught in the ring for 11, Darjeeling 30-1 off 4.4 overs. Ram played a watchful couple of overs for 4 before being bowled. The Japanese Samurai Lords from heavens above awaited Darjeeling’s own Samurai Silent Assassin’s innings. LBW first ball golden duck. The score now 70-3 off 10.1 overs. Charles was batting with patience and punishing the bad ball.
Chiang Mai 6s specialist, with a new gun imported from silky Sialkot, Umer came in at 5, a 44-run partnership followed in 31-balls. The opposition bowlers bowled tight with the odd loose ball smashed to the boundary by the batsmen. The 1s, 2s, 4s were coming 360 degrees of the wicket. This partnership could have been game set & match for Darjeeling, with 60-odd required in the last 10 overs. Umer was out for 21 off 14 balls, skying a ball to deep mid off to an off spinner’s half volley that should of landed at Al Maktoum Airport. Lanky, after stopping about 20 runs in the field earlier in the game came in at 6. Bowled first ball golden duck.
As we all know, golden ducks don’t come often, but when they do, they tend to arrive in pairs! Rachitt made a wristy 10 runs, out stumped. Potty next in, bowled for another Golden Duck! The wickets kept on tumbling, Charles on about 70-odd, Darjeeling still needed 50 off the last 5 overs.
Andries was out for 4, and Club Captain 13 off 5 balls smashing a couple 6s with Umer’s gun, a late cameo ending up stumped. Ollie walked in, Darjeeling needing 26 off 5 balls. After a few plays and misses, Darjeeling lost by 23 runs.
Standout performances by Charles ending on 81* & Umer 21. Club Captain with an all-round performance, Badger & Ollie for bowling. Time to ‘quack-quack’ to the next fixture!
It was Friday 13th, the sun was shining and CD and Lee entered into their last DCC supper with their 13 other disciples in tow, but who would be found hanging on the cross by the end of the day? (As it turned out it was both, along with several of their followers).
Fresh from 1 hours sleep and a black sambuca breakfast Lee negotiated the toss with CD allowing him his choice based on the years served rule, CD elected to field while the oven was warming up.
God’s Chosen Ones (aka those of normal height) opened with the skipper himself wearing Thomas’s pad as a compulsory armguard and his Bahrain Buffalo Bullfrog stalwart Badger, opening up for The Wrong Un’s, was the silver fox willow Kotze himself. Ball one…. Kotze wobbled down his finest first delivery in his DCC career and was met with the usual amount of negativity from Lee as he blocked it out to point.
Some tight early overs from CD, Nick and Dexy were soon put to bed when the Gully was crashed over midwicket first ball for 4 and drilled over cover for 6 by his Lee leading to his retirement on 50.
Badger soon followed Lee back nicking off to Ieuan for a flamboyant 1. Brad the Chiang Mai Wall in at 3 was doing his level best to increase the run rate with a flurry of drives but his partner Rasta Abrahams soon fell victim to Umer for 11. Tebby looking like he would ‘come on for the run’ made a quick 10 before coming the first of Rohan’s run out victims. Erstwhile Brad had cruised to 28 and was safely back in the pavilion reminiscing of CM (where?) with ETB.
Olly Van Der Broek was asked to put his finger in the wall (I add not the Chiang Mai version) and stop the flow of wickets, but was out to an extraordinary piece of luck, more lucky than Jono pulling a thin bird, a return catch was shelled by Thomas (I thought it was Rohan) diving at full length only for the ball to crash into the stumps and leave Olly out of his ground and out for 1. Nathan ‘Thailand’ Williams using what can only be described as tree trunk hit a couple of lusty blows before making the stupid mistake of hitting one down Kes the Trolley Dolly’s throat at long off for an appropriate 13. Harry who might look back at this game thinking there will be better days inexplicably was out bowled on a free-hit to the smallest of all Thomas I’ve inherited my dad’s golden arm Mariadson for 11.
The kids then started turning the screw, Ieuan returned to clean ETB on his return for 3 and Thomas then had Ben stumped for 5. Viv gave Gully a wicket when a lusty blow picked out Umer for 10, and Chris Neal became the 3rd run out victim this time to Umer for another unlucky for some 13. Ash dancing down the wicket like a whirling dervish gave Jono his 3rd victim making 8.
In return the first retiree Lee to join Blikkies, acting as a joint heavy roller for the second innings added some needed runs, Blikkies huge 6 off Umer had Kes moving into an extraordinary fielding position at long-high off, standing above the sightscreen in the ‘moon’ position. Inspired by this Lee aiming to in his words “knock the fucker off” drilled CD in the last over straight but low for four, nutmegging George in the process who thankfully for him was hanging to the right.
The innings closed with Lee unbeaten on 78 and Blikkies 14. A challenging total of 237 had been set. Pick of the bowlers was Thomas once again, pick of the batsmen… pretty damn obvious.
After a short innings break a padded set of silver foxes in the form of Gully and CD strode out to the wicket to face Badger the Bunny. Gully, wearing a shirt reminiscent of the last time he paid his club fees faced the first ball and together with CD started building an innings that would for a long time baffle the cricketing gods.
Gully was the first to go caught off the bowling of Tebby for a run a ball 5, not reproducing his days as a class A Australian cricket opener and in came Dexy, wearing his pink cravat, which could mean only one thing, or two, in some cultures.
What followed was the biggest collection of mistimed shots, thick outside edges, back foot off cut straight drives from CD and swings and misses coupled with singles from Dexy. Such was the beauty of the innings, that God’s chosen ones started slowly but surely take their big feet of the gas, all part of the Tyrian Lannister type deception being built by the wrong’uns wiley captain.
With his only well timed shot of the day, a straight drive, well placed over Rasta’s head, CD retired for a captain’s knock of 52 off 20 odd balls, leaving Dexy to continue his dot ball deception, but how long would that last?
In strode Teddy Mooney who for a time continued the dot ball deception for some time before picking up a few fours, keeping the wrong’uns just in touch with the now overconfident cheery chosen ones.
At the same time, Dexy suddenly decided that he had spent enough time building an innings and proceeded to go bounding towards his retirement scoring his last 15 runs of 5 balls, retiring on 25 off about 109 balls. Would this be the start of a turnaround?
Here is where I start getting a bit blurry, I believe caused by the bullfrog induced concussion suffered at Kickers, so excuse the run of play slightly.
Enter Gary Busey aka Maverick aka Colin Morris for a three run cameo, bowled by Chris Neal.
At about the same time, Teddy, or so he claims, agreed that he would give Lee an easy catch off Ash’s bowling, thereby proving himself to be both a scholar and a gentleman out for a solid 18.
Jono, who I have known since he was a wee lad, walked in with the confidence of a young feeder in his prime and what occurred from this point onwards was a thing of beauty.
The tall blokes chuckled and pie’d themselves into a sense of comfort and allowed Jono to retire on a 14 odd ball 26, mostly off Viv, who could be seen tearing up on the fence after Jono’s onslaught.
Blake coming in after Mooney’s wicket, made a welcome come back to the club with after a stint in Kenya where he scored a double hundred for his club against the Mombasa school for the blind and deaf, finding some kind of form with a very good 22, stumped by the reluctant keeper off the bowling of a certain Mr. van der Broek, which I must say, is a great name, further setting up the innings
Meanwhile Umer, who sounds exactly like Ducky, a gent who some at the club might know, contributed with a good 20 to hold up one end for Kes, who was nursing a suntanned backside from his sight screen antics.
Kes, cunningly sent in after a short conference between the shorts captain and Jono from his batting position of 15, he proceeded to stroke a pre-nap Eugene for 3 sixes in one over and scoring a game changing 25 of 7 balls, setting up a tense finish.
With young Rohan coming in to join Umer and Badger bowling the last over, the shorts needed a run a ball off the last over, conservatively reached, including a reverse sweep from young Rohan and the shorts pulling victory from the jaws of defeat, leaving God’s chosen ones wondering what God they had chosen.
A great game was followed up by a focused fines session spilling into what can only be described as a Kicker’s brunch reminiscent of the days when we had a clubhouse, may she rest in peace.
Gentleman, are we still gentleman?
Thank you to everyone, it’s been great.
It was with nervous anticipation when 1:30 pm ticked past, and DCC only had half the team present at the “suggested” meeting time. The ICC official already putting us on notice for a 5 pm finished, quickly renegotiated to 5:30pm by the present audience. The toss was performed in the middle, no negotiation to bat first being attempted, the toss was duly lost and the boys were fielding. DCC was in fortunate position to have 11 plus Watto (official scorer for the day – how I wished we had that for last Saturday’s night game!!).
The opening spell by Mike was only spoilt by 2 wides and streaky shots past 3rd man for 4. Dave was the initial destroyer claiming 2 wickets in his 2nd over. The father & son tag team saw Rohan take a maiden wicket over in his first followed by a 2rd wicket in his second. The run rate was kept very slow, wickets kept falling, enter Ieuan “Terminator” Carney who proceeded to bowl a first delivery he would rather forget, in swinging beamer shoulder height and following the retreating new batsmen, with a slight dip to connect with the batsman’s glove edge just below the chin, latter needing to retire and attend A&E for his injured pinky (Our thoughts are on his well-being). The eventful over also saw the new batsman miss a straight delivery avoiding all forms of available protection and connecting with the “Box”. This was followed by spin bowling, Stu making a great start conceding only 5 but not wanting to catch balls hit gently back to him twice in the over; this was followed by Ollie conceding 3 plus one wide. Essentially the bowling was tight, drinks being taken after 9 overs with the Oysters Catchers sitting on 40 runs for 5 wickets. This is where Ashley’s’ renegotiation skills came to the fore explaining to all in the change room we need to make a game of it etc… and so the “bookie John” effect took hold. Overs 10 and 11 saw the Oysters put on 33 off Stu (12runs) and Olly (21 runs). Enough said. Digby (1 wicket) and Callum (3 wickets) had great spells with equally great fielding by DCC – catches taken and run out effected from mid-off with a direct hit). The last 2 wickets fell to Stu and Ollie leaving the Oyster Catchers on a modest 99 from 17.21 overs.
With a run rate of 5 per over, Captain Ash rearranged the batting line up to give all a chance to bat. I believe he succeeded in that goalJ. DCC opening with Ieuan and Rohan both getting off the mark and trying to play aggressive shots. The pitch was holding up slightly and lacked pace (emphasis made for Lee’s benefit). First wicket to go was Ieuan for 6 (13 balls) followed by Rohan for 9 (5 balls). This brought Lee and Ash to the crease with plenty of time to get ones eye in. This was taken very literally and reminiscent of “Alec Bannerman” (google the name J)
Lee was eventually out 0 (13 Balls). On the positive it was a 10 run partnership with Ash. Stu briefly joined Ash and departed for 0 (3 balls). Pottie joined Ash and proceeded to put on a 36 runs partnership with Ash before Pottie was catch at mid-on for 20 (25 balls). Digby came to partner Ash, with Ash being next to go attempting to march down the pitch to smack the ball over the ropes only to miss it and be stumped for 16 (33 balls). Dave partnered with Digby to put on 29 runs before Digby was out for 10 runs (11 balls) [DCC 96/7 after 14.2].No panic yet as we had wickets in hand. Mike hoping to hit the winning runs was quickly taking the long walk back being bowled for 0 (2 balls) [DCC96/8 after 14.4]. Callum confidently walked up to complete what Mike could not, however was caught and bowled for 0 (7 balls) [DCC 98/9 after 15.5]. Well thoughts went back to Ollie over where he conceded 21 runs (bookie John influence) was he in the right frame of mind – Panic !!!. Digby making a comment hopefully the wide’s will win the game J and that proved to be the case, with the winning runs courtesy of 4 wide’s down leg side leaving Dave on 13 runs not out off 12 Balls and Ollie 1 not out. Top Scorer for DCC was Mr. Wides with 28 for 16 overs.
In conclusion a great game played with true cricket spirit and won by DCC, eventually. The DCC discount at Kickers was appropriately utilised by both teams…..
The Dubai Despatch, May 10, 2015
Yesterday’s events provided a quite stunning contrast to the previous Saturday’s dry run (which favoured the Tories), with a recently-cobbled-together Coalition of the Swilling (led, would you believe, by a Plaid Cymru representative!) prevailing in the Election Edition of the Desert Derby, throwing the psephologists into predictable disarray.
Yes, Cameron’s Conservative Cannons lost comprehensively (by 10 seats) to a resurgent alliance led from the front by Jon “Toothy Ed” Houghton and James “Cleggie” Smibert, with tacit support from the Irish (Rob Weir, back in Malahide for the washed-out one-dayer) and even the Scots (Chris Bridle, last seen repairing to the Sturgeon & Roe for a wee dram a few months ago).
Both teams seemed to have made equally concerted efforts to broaden their appeal to the minority, immigrant and Kolpak constituencies in an effort to capture the swing vote, with the Conservatives fielding Khalid, Mirza, Vincent and Coles, while the National Coalition offered up Banerjee, Moses, Blignaut and deBeer.
On to the details, then… the toss went the Tories’ way and they decided to bat first, opening with Cameron (of course!) and Thomas. The Coalition opened with Blignaut and MacFadyen, then Cook and Rees once the field was out, all bowling well enough to keep the flood at bay but never really threatening, and at the 10-over break the Cannons were 74/0, Cam dropped at 8 by Dannie as Cook’s low, full pie was driven firmly but airily to mid-off, mistaken for a bump ball, attempted (with resultant bruising) and parried overhead to the fence.
Meanwhile the long-awaited crate of water had arrived to provide succour at the break, and so had the Conservatives’ support, well-distributed across the key demographics: infants, women and seniors.
102 ensued off the bottom ten but so did 6 wickets, evening things out somewhat. Thomas departed in the 14th after a good opening stand of 111, well caught at long on by a sliding Houghton off Cook for an adventurous 49 off 40 (5×4, 2×6), even as Shep hopped in the heavens above.
Skipper Bradstock came in next, stroked the ball around well (that bat looks quite special) while Cameron continued to hit well-timed shots to all parts, particularly severe on Banerjee (who put the liberal in LibDem) starting with a few pies, then offering up kebabs and finally fish & chips, his trifecta of take-aways put away for 32 off 2 before asking the skipper Rees to take him off, lack of nets having palpably affected length and bowling form.
But there was a twist in the tale yet, Houghton brought on to bowl, taking 4-11 off his two! First the dangerous Coles holing out to Jamie at cow corner off a first-ball full toss for an effervescent 76 off 54 (6×4, 3×6), then the hamstrung Khalid caught by Blikkies in similar fashion, then Bradstock caught by Ash at point off a swirling top edge for 27 off 11, then Taylor went just as Coles did, and in a couple of overs the complexion of the innings had changed (much like London) even as Curtis went lbw to Rees for a first-ball duck (Adair, umpiring, giving the benefit of the doubt to the bowler), and the Conservatives finished on a possibly sub-par 178/6 despite a brief late flurry from Mellor with support from Lazarus.
Blignaut 4-23-0, MacFadyen 4-41-0, Cook 4-23-1, Rees 4-46-1, Banerjee 2-32-0, Houghton 2-11-4, not a single maiden bowled.
At the half-way mark the Conservatives might have felt they had secured enough, based on recent evidence, while the Coalition thought they’d shown good Labour form by fielding well in the Shires and were in with a chance.
And so it came to pass that Cleggie and Toothy Ed were nominated to lead the chase from the front, while bowling duties were entrusted to Taylor and Bain.
Taylor was accurate but predictable from the Academy End, while Bain from Bradenton North was brisk but wayward, profligate with the Dukes and going for 19 off his first and 25 off the second as the openers cashed in with some well-played drives and deflections for boundaries, 61 coming off the first 4, helped along by extras as well for as good a start as the Coalition has ever enjoyed.
This prompted a change in the Conservatives’ strategy, with the spin doctors Mellor and Adair pressed into service for the last two overs of the powerplay, but to no avail as the buffet bowling continued and the batsmen feasted, the Coalition 80/0 off the first 6.
The batsmen looked firmly in control and a sense of comfortable smugness seeped into the hutch, with the immigrants Moses and Banerjee placidly ensconced in the bosomy embrace of the welfare state, suckling contentedly on the twin teats of Healthcare (cigarettes) and Benefits (water) while the Kolpaks ran the scorebox, Nigel foraged fruitlessly in South Thanet and a distant David Dimbleby allegedly exclaimed “for God’s sake” when he thought the cameras were off.
As the field went out the scoring rate normalised somewhat, with the Coalition 109/0 at drinks after 10, still well ahead of the ask and the worm looking quite superior on the iPad. The spinners continued as variously Curtis, Lazarus and Mirza were each given a go, Houghton accelerated as he tired, peppering the Academy with a few sixes, even while Cameron raged against the tide from behind the stumps, attempting to rally the troops in the face of the inevitable. Toothy Ed retorted with “My mum’s French,” putting to rest any doubts about Britain’s future in the EU. The Scots didn’t rate a mention despite Cameron’s former cricketing connections to the land of single malts, kilts, haggis and em, Hogmanay.
It was all over four balls into the 16th, with Smibert (67 off 50, 8×4, 1×6) and Houghton (88 off 48, 10×4, 4×6) having batted really, really well (Cleggie’s Chinese cuts notwithstanding, perhaps an acknowledgement of the Met Ball’s theme this year?) for a fine 10-wicket win, long overdue against the Cannons.
Taylor 2-12, Bain 2-44, Mellor 3-18, Adair 4-24, Curtis 1.4-10, Lazarus 2-12, Mirza 1-3, no maidens or wickets.
A good day out for some, and all repaired to Kickers for a pint or two (“we don’t do champagne these days, you know”) and bit of post-match socialising. After his exertions for a Man of the Match performance, Houghton resorted to caloric compensation via cheesy fries, a hot dog bigger than its bun, and a chicken salad, all of which were pronounced tasteless but useful under the circumstances, much like this match report.
The People have spoken! – the overwhelming choice for the Christmas match has been to stoke up a bit of Hemispherical rivalry….
So on Saturday 27th December post-festivities, the Men of the North led by Mr Gary (True Grit) Turner will take the field
against the Shandy-drinking Bed-Wetting Southern Softies with Greg (Moistly) Moses trying to keep the bitch-slapping
and the cat-calling at bay.
We’ll be playing a 20 over (more if we can) Taverners Rules* Match (at the ICC Academy)
Batsmen retire on 20 – can come back at the end
Must use a minimum of 10 Bowlers, bowling a maximum of 3 each.
Please be there before 1:00pm for our pre-match “Warm-up” session. Please do not worry, this is not going to be too stressful
or arduous – just a little exercise to loosen the muscles and get the blood flowing.
That said, by simply turning up – you’re all automatically, signing a disclaimer agreeing that the club (or me) will be in no way responsible for any injuries, sickness, disorders, pregnancies, rashes, diseases, scars or mental deficiencies that come about from our little ‘warm-up’ session ☺
THE NORTH THE SOUTH
1 Badger (Beast) 1 Nathan (Caring) Cartright
2 GT (True Grit)* 2 (Gay) Gully
3 Johno (Hard-on) Houghton 3 (Nice) Nick Lloyd
4 Nick (Harder) Harvey 4 (Sensitive) CD Kotze
5 Sugee (Monster) 5 Ben (Jolly good) Jones
6 Richard (Well-Hard) Hallows 6 Kym (Harmless) Harris
7 Julius (Juggernaut) Mooney 7 Etienne (Velvety) Visser
8 Jason (Steaming) Stewart 8 Jason (Breathless) Brown
9 Chris (Braveheart) Bridle 9 Ian (Potty-trained) Potgieter
10 Chris (Dominant) Dommett 10 Andrew (Kind-hearted) Kirk
11 Lee (Deadly) Dawson 11 Greg (Moistly) Moses
12 (Cock-Crusher) Coco 12 Brad (Wiggly) Wissink
13 Olly (He-Man) Higgens
On a weekend when the Springboks swept all aside at the Dubai Rugby 7s our very own Blitzbokke stole the show against ABB at the ICC CA.
There was a nip in the air and a hint of dew on the ground as the usual motley assortment of Darjeeling players drifted into the ground. Captain Banerjee announced to all that in a dramatic change from the usual tactics, he had won the toss and decided to field! He claimed to have spotted a little something in the pitch suggesting early movement, although a more convincing argument might have been that it would be cooler bowling first.
Anyway, after awarding a new club shirt to debutant Ethan Holmes we trudged reluctantly onto the pitch only for some sharp eyed cove to spot that the sight screens were set for a white ball. With no sign of activity from the ground staff an executive decision was made to try to fix the problem ourselves, ignoring young Ethan’s assertion that black screens shouldn’t pose a problem for the batsmen as we had no quick bowling. Greg offered him a look of disdain before clambering to the top of the screen to mend the pulley system which was jammed.
Finally, we got down to play with Greg opening up from the stadium end and Ethan standing where a keeper normally would for a bowler of Badger’s pace. By the end of the over he was nursing a couple of bruised hands and standing within chatting distance of the slips, commenting to Ash that it felt weird to be standing so far back. Welcome to big boys cricket young man
Etienne opened up from the other (unnamed) end, keeping it tight and getting a bit of swing and the score trickled along in singles, edges and wides until Etienne struck in his second over. A back of a length ball tempted the opener into a wild slog which Brad eventually caught coming in from mid off. He struck again in similar fashion in his next over, with Brad again pouching a skier (or skyer?), to have ABB struggling at 28 for 2 with only their no.3 batsman Syed Hussain looking capable of taking on the Darjeeling bowling.
After dropping a tough slip chance off Greg, Blikkies took over from the stadium end, picking up a wicket in his second over with a catch by the Dominator at midwicket.
Drinks were taken with ABB struggling at 58 for 3 after 10, but the fourth wicket partnership between Syed and Nidhin accelerated the rate towards respectability at 9 an over. A couple of late run outs left ABB with a sub-par total of 154 for 5, although given Darjeeling’s recent batting troubles it was by no means a given. Bowling figures were generally respectable, with Greg 4 overs, 0 for 20, Etienne 2 for 23, and Blikkies 1 for 24. Andrew Morris went for 15 in his first over before Captain Banerjee ruthlessly removed him from the attack, and both Brad and Shuggie going for 9 an over without a wicket.
So the chase began, or in the case of Brad, the leisurely amble. Blikkies decided to attack from the start (no change there then), whacking anything pitched up back past the bowler, and pulling anything short over mid wicket. So ferocious was his hitting that one shot saw his bat split in half lengthways, with one half nearly copping the square leg umpire. With Brad hitting just 2 fours the big unit was required to run far too many twos for his liking, with the pitch looking in danger at one point of being repainted with yesterday’s Snickers.
The result was never in doubt as the openers cantered (cross between a gallop – Blikks, and a walk – Brad) to the target in the 18th over, with Bliikies going to a brutal ton with a baseball shot which hit the academy on the full. 103 not out off just 69 balls, ably supported by Brad with a more conservative 37 at exactly a run a ball, and a 10 wicket win for the good guys for a change.
Back in the changing room the usual banter ensued with Elsabe promising Bliks rather more than just a massage as a reward for his ton, and a new bat for Christmas. Reverend Moses called for silence, and asked everyone to ponder the Thought For Today – the lost art of fingering… This was duly discussed, with thoughts ranging from the best techniques to how the decline in this practice is probably responsible for the world’s population problem. Ethan wisely refused the offer of a cold beverage as his Dad was waiting for him, and left with Greg’s encouragement to keep practicing the fingering to keep him busy for the next week.
A good performance all round and surely the dawn of a fresh winning streak for the mighty Darjeeling. Bring on Standard Chartered!!