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With the Darjeeling 2’s finishing up on Oval 2, the Darjeeling 1’s kicked off on Oval 1 vs the XL40’s. With the pre-negotiated toss sorted, Gris and Brian strode to the crease. Jules screaming to Skipper Brian “Whats the batting order” to receive a reply of “just work it out yourself”…. Leadership of legends
While some might have viewed the proceeding few overs as respect being shown by these two flat track bullies, consensus was the ill-effects of the early hours drinking session. Neither could get the wily XL40’s bowlers off the square and Gris fell early doors for 2 in the 3rd and then went MIA for 90 minutes! Hmmmmm…..
Jules strode to the crease to be faced with such express pace not seen at the ICC since Badger last bowled, the XL40’s had the measure of these two young lads and the crowd in the stand were watching something akin to paint drying!
Having built a solid foundation, with Jules milking a few runs hear and there, at about a run a ball (yawn) until Brian decided to go aerial with some great effect until he was run out for 47 (off 34) and a good partnership of 68 with Darjeeling at 2/79 off 11.
After a few challenges with technology, Badger stripped the iPad off Nick for Brian to now control the scoring, to only have the iPad thrown back at him within an over and Badger praying he didn’t have to bat with his broken foot.
Jules and Noel kept the scoreboard ticking over, until Jules was bowled trying to ensure he had a better strike rate than Ash for 39 (off 34 NB: better than a run a ball), leaving Darjeeling teetering on 3/98 off 13
After a quick change of pads, Gully strode out looking forward to facing a ball after the diamond duck of his last dig…. Walking back a few balls later for a 3-ball duck, plumb LBW, and still without an average in 2013, wondering what it would feel like to have some leather on his bat….
After a power nap in the change rooms, Jonno walked out… and walked back almost as quickly caught and bowled for 2. Darjeeling 5/101 off 15
‘Almost’ run a ball Ash kept Noel company for solid 5 overs as Noel started carving up the opposition, of the 58 run partnership, Ash added 6 (off 10 NB: yes not quite ‘almost’ run a ball Ash) and Darjeeling at a slightly more respectable 6/159 off 20
AT came out and started where he left off in the earlier game, while Noel was teeing off. Noel was finally bowled for 72 off 35 balls after 23 overs, leaving AT and Dommett to close the innings out. Dommett heard the call from Jonno and Gully and ensure he hogged the strike for the last 2 overs leaving AT stranded not out 16 off 16 (no not quite 50 in a day!) and himself at 13 off 9 and Darjeeling a respectable (albeit sub-par) 7/207 on a good deck.
The XL40’s innings started with Gris dictating terms on where he wasn’t going to field, Jonno sleeping at 1st slip, Badger limping with ‘apparently’ a broken foot, Ettienne holding his broken thumb, Ash in his Skins and no-one scoring on the iPad.
Brian decided to open with the express pace combination of Gully and Ettienne (well… when taking into consideration the XL40’s attack!) The XL openers nudged a few around and after 4 overs were 0 for not many (NB: above point “no-one scoring on the iPad”) Gully 0/10 off his 2, and Ettienne 0-11 off his 2.
Great captaincy brought on Ash ‘almost run a ball’ Banerjee in his Skins… bowling a maiden! Followed by Badger hopping to the crease, like a rabbit caught in a trap, bowling another maiden (his only over for the day!). There was something not right, Darjeeling were fielding like demons!
With spin now the call of the day, Jonno came on to throw down a few darts (literally!) but got milked by the wiley old fella’s but he did bring about the first chance, a sitter dropped by Jules (now this is the Darjeeling we remember!) Jonno obviously thinking watching Badger running (sorry hopping) in the field was funny, kept throwing pies up and outside off ensuring we could see that sight over and over again. Ball magnet Ettienne, with his broken thumb, got in on the action no matter where he was fielding, with Dommett the unfortunate collateral damage of this strategy breaking his finger again (from memory dropping a catch?) with the call from AT “it might be straight now!”
Ash ‘almost a run a ball’ Banerjee finished his spell with ANOTHER MAIDEN… 3 overs, 2 maidens for 3 runs, bowled well… must be the Skins helping!
Jonno finished his 3 overs with 26 stripped from him and no wickets in sight. With a team meeting between Jonno and Gully, it was decided that in no way would they let AT get better bowling figures than them! The strategy working a treat with some runs milked through slips, and the ball going to the left or the right of Gully at short 3rd man or square leg… as a catch came, Gully was all over it until he remember his pact with Jonno and grassed it at full stretch….. AT finished with 0/29 off his 3 (phew!)
Jules bowled a couple of overs of pies (turning them? Yeah right!) bowling off a step… having worked out that the only way he was going to get a wicket was if he caught it himself, he threw up a dolly and took a caught and bowled buying himself another over of absolute shite… finishing with 1/3 off his two overs including some of the best grunts when attempting legspin every seen, especially for balls that didn’t turn! XL finally loose a wicket and are 1 for not that many.
Gris came on with some leggies…. Also getting in on the grunt action started by Jules, according to Noel he got a few to actually turn and hop… again the ball kept going to the left or the right of Gully (either at Gully or leg slip!) making him run more than he has in 15 years, with Gris finishing at 0/33 off his 4.
At the other end Brian kept it interesting with a tight spell of 1/13 off his 3, also accepting if he was going to get a wicket he would have to catch it, with a caught and bowled. The second wicket left XL trembling at 2 for not many more (about 120-ish off 21)
For reason unbeknown, Brian gave the ball to Gully to close out the XL innings, being forced to continue this leg spin theory with now everybody aware of the Jonno/Gully pact… Gully got seriously carted… finishing with 0/24 off his 4 (still better figures that AT) even though mysteriously balls kept going left and right of fieldsmen straight to the boundary!
Darjeeling won by plenty (about 50/60), good fun but cant say anyone other than Noel played to their ability! Only one thing left to do…. To the pub!
Ash finally took his Skins off, Badger went to hospital (well, talked about it), Captain Brian spent 4 hours discussing the nuances of his 100% win ratio as Captain, Jules saved the captains mobile, AT did a smoke bomb and faded away, Jonno found a pair of shoes to get into Mahiki that ‘had character’ (he didn’t make it to Mahiki and neither did those shoes! Probably ANOTHER Bullfrog or 3 at Barasti?), Greg while not having played, kept what was left of the team together at Girders and said captain of the day decided that Jumeirah Beach needed a splattering of colour ….. of the Magners hue.
It must be time for another Jaeger challenge?