01st June -v- Herongate at Brentwood Road
Crusaders recorded a reasonably comfortable win from their first visit to Herongate. The ground situated on the busy Al28 is a slightly mis-shaped oval, with both boundaries straight down the ground rather short. Rain had made the outfield lush, but the pitch was well prepared and offered even bounce throughout. Mike deputised at the toss, with Herongate winning and electing to bat. Wajih arrived shortly before play was due to commence, but we were still short of the Don East Party, who were traversing Whipps Cross and the North Circular. Don's book 'Interesting Journeys to Cricket with Chand' will be released shortly. Herongate soon showed their attacking intent, with both openers prepared to throw willow at leather. On such a small ground there is obvious value for shots, but Danglers and Aftab allowed little width and beat the bat regularly. Moysey who has bowled beautifully of late,, without taking the number of wickets he deserves, again had the measure of the openers. A slower ball got him his only wicket, but his eight overs went for a miserly eleven runs. Aftab picked up two quick wickets with similar deliveries, nipping off the seam to hit leg stump. Herongate were in disarray and only the introduction of Skinny brought any relief. Suddenly the number three bat had a new tease of life, feasting heavily from the light snacks that were tossed his way, seemingly able to hit Mike to wherever he wanted. The skip recognised that we Token 'Englishman' Paramveer showed his true colours shying away from a dolly of a chance. I think it will be some time before he is allowed a British Passport. Herongate failed to utilise their full quota of overs and mustered a below par 130. Remarkably (to anyone that saw it) Skinny returned 4-29. Tea was splendid. Sausages with onions, more Indian snacks and Egg Mayo sarnies - what more could you want.
Confident of success Spud and Darren made the short trip to the Green Man for some sampling. Though the beer was fairly standard, the Essex Girl barmaids more than made up for it's shortcomings. We opted to return 'laters'.
Back at the game, Herongate had made a good fist of pushing up the run rate. Paramveer had completed a dismal day, proving that his ton at West Peckham was a complete fluke, but The Don had forged a sensible 50 partnership with Wajih, before falling just prior to the drinks break. Chand briefly flourished, but was then goaded into trying to hit the ball over long-on, with inevitable consequences. Damon and Aftab surrendered cheaply, forcing some rapid buckling of pads in the away dressing room, but Jabs continued his good form, backing another excellent batting display from The Skip, who recorded another fine fifty. A flurry of boundaries put an end to Herongate's resistance, with victory achieved by 5 wickets with several overs to spare.