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)