The match started awkwardly with Damian Kelleher actually managing to speak prior to having an alcoholic beverage but anyway onto the game the two teams eyed each other with mutual respect and some wariness. At 12.45pm the captains and umpires went over to conduct the toss and introductions were performed, and the toss was effected, the coin settling the correct side up, from a Crusaders point of view. We chose to bat.
To say the outfield was lush and even is understating it. Even the sweetest shot along the deck would struggle to reach three-quarters of the way to the boundary. Simon Scanlon and Roy Lamsam kicked things off, and the wicket immediately showed uneven bounce and pace. Roy was adjudged LBW to a ball probably missing the stumps by a meter not to mention he gave it some assistance from his inside edge. Simon continued his great start with an abundance of sweet timed drives and the odd delicate late cut. Dylan Dearing was next in and continued Roy’s and Scanas solid start until he was caught at cover trying to drive. Enter the DOG. Damian combined with Scanas and scored freely. Scanas brought up his 50 just after drinks and continued to dig in and work towards setting up a good total for the team, he ended up being caught at deep long on for 78 worth more than a century on any other ground. Dog was next to go when offered a waist high full toss hit it down mid wickets throat for 25. Ashley Caddy, James Millington, Leigh Stewart, Akash Sureka, Aditya Kanthan and David Millington added a handful of runs in brief stays at the crease. We ended at 9/157 in our 35 overs.
Taipans didn’t start the best with Aditya “Buffets” Kanthan bowling beautifully which ended in 2 quick wickets both caught at Mid Off by yours truly, but we knew we still had a job on our hands an enormous threat in their opening batter still occupying the crease and occasionally showing some signs of aggression to Damian’s non turning off breaks. Both Aditya and Damian bowled accurately and economically and Taipans managed to get their score to 30 odd and be 4 wickets down after 10 overs.
Despite being somewhat off-colour, Ashley had the job of bowling through the middle overs his pace and bounce proved too much for the Taipans as stumps were seen cart rolling, bails flying and James catching a defiant Taipan behind. I thought Ashley showed great attitude and team spirit as he toiled through 7 overs straight. The Captain come on for a trundle with a mix of spin and seam somehow managed to get through 5 overs for 11 runs, I’m still scratching my head trying to think of how that happened, when he and Ashley were replaced by Akash and Roy. Roy ended up being presented with the possibility of securing a Hat-trick but was denied, Roy bowled with class and skill to close out the innings.
Crusaders kept pressing all the time. We put them under the cosh from the outset, there was no wilting, no petulance at luck or missed chances - just utter pressure, class and resolution. A magnificent team performance. Damian was a calm brilliance with bat and ball, Aditya and Ashley were both completely bamboozling with their seam, swing and skill, but man of the match – for his outstanding batting was Simon Scanlon
Crusaders were: Simon Scanlon, Roy Lamsam, Dylan Dearing, Damian Kelleher, Ashley Caddy, James Millington, Leigh Stewart, Akash Sureka, Aditya Kanthan, David Millington and Chris McAnulty (c)
2012-13 HKCA Saturday Championship Division
2012-13 HKCA Saturday Cup
- Crusaders v. Tartars @ KCC, 1st September 2012
- Crusaders v. Saracens @ KCC, 8th September 2012
- Crusaders v. Taipan CC @ Mission Road, 6th October 2012
- Crusaders v. CCC @ Mission Road, 20th October 2012
- Crusaders v. HKCC Nomads @ HKCC, 10th November 2012
- Crusaders v. LSW Sarjan @ KCC, 26th January 2013
- Crusaders v. Centaurs @ KCC, 2nd February 2013
- Crusaders v. Kai Tak CC @ PKVR, 16th February 2013 (12:15PM start)
- Crusaders v. HKU @ HKU, 2nd March 2013
- Crusaders v. Pakistan Association AMSUA @ KCC, 9th March 2013
- Starts 16th March 2013
KCC Crusaders will play in the HKCA Saturday League Division 1 in 2012-13. Despite losing to Mainlanders in last season's semi-finals, the Crusaders have been moved up to the top flight after the HKCA expanded the Saturday competition to two 11-team divisions. Taipans and Centaurs were already promoted to Division 1.
Division 2 will see two new teams join the league. KCC gains a fourth Saturday team - provisionally to be called the 'KCC Dragons' - while Hong Kong Sixes and Premier League sponsors KARP Group will also enter a team. A second all-Chinese team called Pioneers CC replace Mainlanders in the competition. Finally, Millennium have joined forces with the United Services Recreation Club and they will play as USRC/Millennium.
Anyone who has ever played cricket at KCC will know what a privilege it is. To Captain a team there is an honour like no other in amateur cricket, particularly such a fine bunch of men as the Crusaders squad were this year.
I think it is safe to say we are considered the more social squad in the club, however any team who played against us would tell you that changed when we crossed the boundary rope.
The first game of the season set the tone for us with a wonderful century from Anthony Barnet as we amassed 232-2 defeating Lamma in the process. During the season we only lost 62 wickets in the 13 league games – the best in both leagues by 17, a truly remarkable effort from our top order particularly Barney, Dylan Dearing, James Millington and Sunny Bhimsaria. Damian Kelleher also went into bat often.
Damian also led the attack with the ball with his flight and guile often deceiving the batsman (and occasionally the swimming pool attendant). He was ably supported by Aditya Kanthan, Karan Shah, Chris MacAnulty with several other bowlers chipping in throughout the season with valuable wickets (have I mentioned my wicket to anyone yet?).
Somewhat inevitably having won 11 out of the 13 games to finish in second place, we lost in the semi-final and didn’t get promoted but that should not take away what a wonderful season it was. The team unity and spirit was second to none. My sincere thanks to all of you who played and contributed to our success.
Highlight of the season? It is in honesty hard to look past Killer losing it at Kai Tak whilst bowling, but to get to play a game with New Zealand legend Lou Vincent and just see close up how he goes about his game was fantastic.
And as I sign off I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Adi and Karan on being selected for the HK National Squad. All of us in the Crusaders are very proud of your achievements.
Submitted by Simon Millington, KCC Crusaders Captain for 2011-12
The KCC Crusaders and KCC Tartars met over Chinese New Year in an eagerly anticipated annual Derby clash.
Comforted by the magnificent sight of the revered KCC turf, but assailed by the frigid cold 8 degree morning, many were no doubt reappraising their initial eagerness to play.
Before the start, Mrs Vachha regaled the two teams with stories from the 60’s and 70’s when her husband - Jungu dominated the HK cricket scene with his fine exploits on the field and generous contributions off it. Jungu was at the forefront of developing the game at both club and colony. He also bestowed the gift of his son Shiroy to our proud club. The champion KCC Saturday team now receives the perpetual Jungu Vachha shield in his honour.
Shiroy kindly volunteered to stand once again as adjudicator in the annual blockbuster and the Crusaders won the toss and elected to bat. Sean Gerald Montague and his mate Luke “Keithy” Hyland started proceedings for the Crusaders, putting on a solid 50 opening run stand. Damian “K Dog” Kelleher joined the fray after Gerald who was looking solid, prematurely departed.
Kelleher was playing himself in, happy as a dog with two tails, at his own good pace. Keithy, at the other end, was looking the goods. Mixing proper cricket shots with the odd lofted mortar attack - It was a shock to all when he was dismissed, caught off a top edge for 49 fluent runs. The productive second wicket partnership with K Dog was thus ended.
Sunny Bhimsaria, a battle hardened Crusader veteran at 18, played a couple of nice shots before getting out.
The acting captain was next and he quickly came and went, looking particularly pathetic against the wily Tartars bowling. K Dog stuck to his guns however -upping the tempo as he went and providing a robust pillar to the innings. With five overs to go, the Crusaders at 170 four 4 off 30 overs, still needed a GRANDSTAND finish though. Leigh Stewart was the next batsman to stick his bonce over the parapet. The ex St Peters Adelaide 1st 11 swung his bat with measured and brutal efficiency, clobbering 24 runs off the final over alone.
Leigh’s vicious late order salvo, along with K Dog’s fine 75 not out, helped the Darers to 207 off their allotted 35 overs. Considering the excellent Tartar bowling, the frosty weather conditions and slower than normal outfield - it was felt that this was a good total to defend.
K Dog and Chris “Horses” McAnalty (snitch, muck raker and permanent number 11) opened the bowling. Both dished it up to a determined and experienced Tartar opening duo, who were proving hard to dislodge. It was again the phantom sniffer, the Dog, whom DELIVERED….. finally inducing a rash shot from Anoop, who like many before him have been dismissed trying to hit the famous “change up” over the top. The Tartars were 1 for 60 and the Dog was imposing himself.
Promising junior Kinchit Shah went very quickly, after two balls, to a deliciously well flighted Dog delivery inducing an edge, eventually caught at first slip after deflecting off the keeper. The Dog was now on fire. But the Tartars, at 2 for 74 after 17 overs had an ace an ACE up their sleeve - Rahul Sharma at four, scorer of 100 centuries for the KCC alone. Rahul came out dancing around the crease like Sammy Davis Jnr, caressing, bopping, driving and flicking balls in a typically classy manner. Ravi Lulla, not to be outdone, was profiting from some fine onside play, registering a well compiled half century.
With these two together the Darers had lost their erstwhile confidence. While Keithy was bowling well, along with Andy Steward (ex Darer and Del captain), the much needed breakthrough was still not forthcoming. It was somewhat unexpected, when the acting captain, relieving Andy, to the smirks and snickers of the lads, actually made a breakthrough - bowling Lulla as he missed an attempted drive through mid-wicket. Taking full advantage of the fact that he could not be taken out of the bowling attack unless he himself decided to do so, the acting captain stubbornly persisted, despite the continued simpers.
Now emboldened by a second wicket in ten years against the Tartars – he reminded Sharma politely that to get out to such a rarely engaged and pedestrian form of medium pace would probably not evoke fond memories. The intrepid remark was quickly regretted though, when countered with animated discourse and a cracking cover drive to the boundary from the KCC legend.
With a fired up Sharma threatening to blow the game open and rain merry hell on the Crusaders parade, it was a complete surprise when the acting captain inexplicably accounted for him. A whipped long hop to the only fielder on the leg side, Sunny Bhimsaria, was superbly caught inches off the rope. Sharma had perished for 40.
Andy Steward joined the fray, now totally fed up after repeatedly being called “Leigh” by the acting skipper. All fire and brimstone he delivered, accounting for Mo Khan, caught after skying one to mid-off. The Crusaders were now ahead on all the judges’ scorecards. The Tartars required 50 runs off the last five overs. The near dark artic conditions and the fact the very fastest of the pace bowlers were back, did no favours to their cause.
A faint splash of rain was quickly followed by a fierce downpour and the final kick in the teeth was delivered - as the heavens opened up. The hallowed KCC turf was drenched and all players quickly frozen to the bone. With a piping hot bath, a stiff drink, a beef pie and the warmer confines of Robin’s nest beckoning - Shiroy sensibly awarded the Crusaders the game under the Duckworth Lewis (K Dog and Nugget) mandate.
Until next time..!
Crusaders 201 for 4 off 35 overs (K Hyland 49, D Kelleher 75 no, Stewart 26; S Daood 2/ 37) defeated the Tartars 153 for 5 off 30 overs (R Lulla 65, R Sharma 40; D Kelleher 2/40, A Barnet 2/35) on superior run rate.
Man of the Match: Damian “ Knackers” Kelleher
Submitted by: Anthony Barnet
Firstly I would like to thank KCC and the cricket section to give me this wonderful opportunity to captain the Crusaders team and for the great support from the cricket committee, team members, Peter and everyone else from the whole cricket section. It was a great learning experience for me in particular and would love to serve the team and the cricket section in one way or the other to the best of my ability in the years to come.
The season for the Crusaders was quite like a rollercoaster ride with a few important wins amongst some losses. This was mainly due to the fact that we almost never had the chance to play our full side at our full strength. Our key players were unavailable for most of the games due to injury or other commitments. To add to that, our key bowlers and batsmen didn’t take the opportunities at the right time and make a difference. But I would like to congratulate Damian Kelleher, Dylan Dearing, Karan Shah and all the others who have had brilliant performances throughout the season with either bat or ball. It is due to these game changing knocks that we managed to grab a few fantastic wins through the season.
Due to the unavailability of the key senior players, a lot of junior players got a chance to make their debuts in the Saturday league and they showed fantastic commitment towards cricket and the club whenever called upon to play for the team. Their enthusiasm helped greatly to the team.
Although we lost a couple of easy games this season, we have also managed to take on a few good sides and beat them.
I’m sure that every crusader will come back strongly in the next season with their performances and the results will be pleasing for the team as well as for the KCC club.
By Saumil Shah
Having won another coin toss, Crusaders captain Saumil Shah chose to bat first on the slow turf wicket at Mission Road. The innings started off poorly with an early wicket lost in the first over but the upper order consolidated through steady batting against the disciplined medium pace LSW bowlers. Anthony Barnet the outstanding batsman for the Crusaders scored 55 runs finally being dismissed caught behind. Damian Kelleher contributed a quick fire 31 not out to control the remainder of the innings whilst a flurry of middle order wickets came and went. Crusaders finished out the full 35 overs at 6/132.
Karan ‘Mitchell’ Shah was thrown the new ball and open the innings with his display of left arm medium pace swing bowling. The opportunity was repaid with two early wickets of both LSW openers. The LSW middle order recovered to progress their total with minimum loss of wickets placing the match in the balance. The turning point arrived when Saumil Shah commenced his eight over spell yielding 4 middle order wickets for 24 runs. Nick Brennan bowled in tandem to support the opposing end with 2/28 including two maidens. Regardless of the attainable 2 run per over rate required to win, the final 10 overs saw LSW capitulate under accurate bowling and tight fielding. The final wicket was taken by Viransh Mehta with LSW dismissed with for 125 in 33.3 overs.
Congratulations to the Crusaders on a memorable win defending a limited score, particular credit to the positive and energetic contribution of the four juniors – Pranav Makharia, Dhruv Sharma, Hrithik Mehta, Nikhil Parwani, selected to represent KCC for this Saturday league match.
By Dylan Dearing
Check out all the action from the 2010-11 HKCA Saturday League match between Crusaders and Tartars played at KCC on 2nd October 2010.
The following players have been named in the Crusaders squad for the 2010-11 season:
- Saumil Shah (Captain)
- Anthony Barnet
- Sunny Bhimsaria
- Ray Brewster
- Simon Brewster
- Swachit Chhajer
- Dan Davern
- Deepinder Dhillon
- Imran Farcy
- Bill Garnet
- John Hsu
- Damian Kelleher
- Roy Lamsam
- David Millington
- James Millington
- Simon Millington
- Sean Montague
- Simon Scanlon
- Karan Shah
- Trevor Willis
Saumil Shah will take over the reins as Crusaders Captain for the 2010-11 season. Saumil's appointment
was confirmed at the KCC Cricket Section's Annual General Meeting and Awards Dinner
held on 24th June 2010.