On a blustery afternoon in the Thames Estuary, Crusaders set a formidable target of 259 from their alotted 40 overs, thanks largely to a solid 63 from skipper Wajih and a more flamboyant innings of 88 from Chand.
Expectations of another explosive innings from our 'Vodaphone' sponsored preacher, ended in disappointment, with only a slash over the slips to amuse the crowd.
Most of the top order got themselves in but unfortunately failed to build on their starts. Wajih was the exception, compiling runs steadily, with few alarms. He was well supported by Chand, who played a more expansive innings, driving powerfully through the cover and point area. Poor communication accounted for both Wajih and Damon, with Chand the significant other in both run outs - at least Damon got reasonably close to getting in - more than can be said for QE2 Rehman. A good tea was consumed - it should be for 40 quid according to the treasurer and then we set about defending the target. It was never going to be easy and Minster set off with great purpose. Runs flowed, with the short boundary peppered with fours and sixes. Mike stuck to the task and despite a savaging, continued to put the ball in the right areas. He was rewarded with the first four wickets to fall, but rather than slow down Minster's run chase it actually urged them on. Pommie got in on the act and all of a sudden Minster was wobbling at 78-6 - or so we thought. The experienced old heads of Tucker and O' Donoghue steadied the ship and accumulated runs at the required rate, without appearing to take any risks. Having done so much to get their side back in the game, they will probably be disappointed at not seeing the game to a winning conclusion. A smart stumping from Sumo broke the partnership and then a fabulous run out by Slapdash ended O' Donoghue's innings two short of a century. Minster continued to play their shots, but the tail was mopped up with a wicket apiece for Pommie and Skinny, as the innings closed at 232. Mike finished with 5-55, which considering he bowled from trickiest end was a fine effort.