11th May -v- West Peckham at West Peckham
Crusaders maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a sixty run victory on the idyllic village green at West Peckham. Skipper Wajih, now in sole charge of team selection kept his cards close to his chest, with little indication of the chosen eleven being published. Last to hear of his position in the side was Vodaphone, who was two-thirds through the reading of Guru Granth Sahib, when a subliminal message was delivered by the tenth Guru himself.
On a glorious day of sunshine we found ourselves batting and a healthy crowd settled in anticipation of some sparkling entertainment. Alas, for the second time, Turgid Taylor was asked to open. Most of the crowd emptied their glasses and left, with those that stayed soon lulled to sleep. Wajih and Nita perished early and were replaced by new man Paramveer Uppal. At this point myself and Danglers retired to the excellent Swan for pints of Trumpeter. Apparently during our absence this new player showed patience and fine technique in compiling a maiden ton for the club, becoming the first Englishman since Glenn Timms to score a hundred. At the other end Skinny showed great patience, as did anyone who witnessed it. From the precarious position of 9-2 the score rose to 171, before Pommie's innings ended, with the stand of 162 a club record for the 3rd wicket. Chand and Damon played similarly appalling shots from the last two balls of the innings, allowing Dawson to claim a hat-trick.
On a small ground, it was important that we fielded well and protected the boundary. It was also important that we took chances when they were presented.
Danglers and Spud opened the bowling, with Darren rewarded by an early wicket. Jagdesh, who had briefly toured SE15 via satnav before heading for Kent, dived forward at gully to claim a splendid catch. The opposition skipper waited, not sure if the ball had carried, but when 'The Specialist' was not struck down by a bolt of lightning for falsely claiming a catch, he accepted the decision. The other opener played resolutely for 40, waiting for the loose ball to score his runs, but other than that West Peckham never looked likely to reach their target. Moysey picked up another couple of wickets, while Spud toiled away economically but without a wicket. Wajih turned to Nomi and debutant•Naveed to eek out the middle order. Both delivered the goods, taking two and three wickets each respectively. With the overs ticking away and the draw still looking a probable outcome, Danglers was re-introduced. There was only likely to be one result - a season long injury for Darren. But - No. Faced with quivering young children, no mercy was shown and soon our hosts were nine down, with Darren claiming a five wicket haul. The number eleven was in no mood to bat out the draw, playing expansively at everything that was sent down and inevitably he sliced a delivery to Man of the Match Pommie at backward point to bring the game to a close.