Crusaders celebrate 50 years with a double

2014-04-17 00:00

CRUSADERS Cricket Club have celebrated their 50th anniversary this year in grand style, retaining the Premier League’s 50-over trophy and adding the Premier T20 spoils to its cabinet.

Recognised as one of the stronger cricket clubs in Durban, with a wall of honour to prove it, the Crusaders team ended their season in style, with a strong 88-run win against Uthungulu in the final of the Premier T20 competition at Kingsmead.

Winning the toss and batting, Crusaders raced to 40 without loss in five overs, as openers Riaan Minnie and Jaryd van Heerden made merry. Van Heerden was out for a run a ball 17, allowing Ruben Hattingh to join Minnie in keeping the scoreboard ticking.

Minnie, who has been in good form throughout the season, raced to his half century in 29 balls, but was out soon after for 51. Hattingh was caught on the boundary for 21 as he tried to force the pace and at 116-5 after 15 overs, Uthungulu was still in the game.

Enter Crusaders captain Mike Alexander and Sean Dixon, who went berserk in the last five overs, smashing 75 runs, with Alexander finishing undefeated on 56 from 30 balls with five sixes, and Dixon making 40 from 21 balls. It propelled Crusaders to a strong 191, which was always going to be tough for the Empangeni side.

Tight bowling was the key for Crusaders as they strangled Uthungulu early on, always having the batsmen well behind the required scoring rate.

Kyle Morrison set the standard and Uthungulu were way behind what was required, with 28 on the board after five overs. Jason Biddulph got the first breakthrough when he got rid of the dangerous Andre Basson for 13. Uthungulu’s scoring never gained much momentum and with Crusaders’ quick Tshepo Moreki not giving much away, Uthungulu struggled to 38-3 after eight overs.

Moreki picked up 3-18 in four overs and spinner Kyle Simmonds added further misery for the batsmen with 3-14 in four brilliant overs.

At the end, Uthungulu laboured to 103-8 in 20 overs, giving Crusaders the double for the season.

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