Crusaders start of European Tour with convincing win in Seebarn

The Crusaders, led by Swan Richards, left off where they had finished their 2001 tour to Europe - with a convincing win against Vienna CC in glorious conditions in Seebarn. In 2001, Simon Burriss and Liam Buchanan had proven to be the principle stars, Buchanan scoring 115 off 85 balls, and this time around it was the Essendon trio of Aaron Mato, Clinton McKay and Brent Hutchinson, who starred with the bat.

The Crusaders squad once again boasted an impressive line-up, with a whole array of up and coming Australian talent, many of whom have played for Australia U19, and with Victoria's Assistant Coach, Greg Shipperd, who himself was a seasoned Sheffield Shield cricketer, and Shaun Graf (Hampshire CCC, Western Australia and Victoria) also amongst the tour leaders.

Hutchinson was returning to Vienna where he had spent some time during 2002, and to the ground on which he had scored 80 off 52 balls on his d but for Vienna CC. McKay's undefeated 83 and Mato's innings of 45 helped to set a demanding target of 240 in 40 overs, with Gary Stevens having the impressive figures of 8-4-15-2, removing both of the openers, although he was unable to bat due to an injury in the field, the score being boosted by some very clean-hitting at the end of the innings.

Vienna CC and Austrian National Team captain Andrew Simpson-Parker scored 89 in only 76 balls, but was 6th out with the score on 132, but by that stage too many wickets had fallen at the other end, and despite cameos from Michi Nedoma, Paul Hudson and Parivesh Padhe, Vienna CC finished some 64 runs short of the target in their allotted overs.

On the neighbouring pitch, Five Continents CC, playing a league match against last year's Open League runners-up, Pakistan CC, won by 5 runs, with their 224-9 proving to be just out of reach for Pakistan CC. During the interval of that game both teams were able to watch the masterful Crusaders batting display. As ever, it is an honour to welcome the Crusaders to Austria, on their European tour, with their team proving a great example to cricketers in Austria, both in terms of technique and the spirit in which the players play the game.