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Windsor outclassed in final warm-up game.

Enfield 240 for 3; 40 Overs (Tilley 83; Coughlan 50)
Windsor 140 for 9; 40 Overs

With the league season fast approaching, Windsor 1st eleven played their final warm-up game away at Enfield. As a Middlesex County League 1st Division club, it was always due to be a tough assignment. On what looked to be a hard, fast track, Enfield won the toss and chose to make first use of the facilities.

Windsor opened the bowling with promising prospect Jonathan Holmes and newcomer Bevan Malloch. Both bowled well, finding swing and movement and were unlucky not to take early wickets. With outfield quick, anything slightly wide was being dispatched for four and Enfield were cruising at 5 an over from the onset. Malloch finally managed the first breakthrough in the 8th over, removing Pearson for 18 with a swinging ball that beat his drive. This saw Coughlan join Higgs and continue the aggressive attack.

Windsor then looked to slow things down at one end with the introduction of Mohindru. The fast pitch was much to the Windsor veteran’s liking and he began to garner some incredible bounce. He was finally rewarded when he removed Higgs for 34. Tilley then joined Coughlan and then began to forge a very strong partnership. Even the introduction of Wes Nichols did to slow the run rate sufficiently, as Enfield’s score began to grow. With some excellent running between the wickets putting the fielders under pressure, runs continued to flow. Chris Kellard’s leg-spin was introduced, but a lack of grip made him easy prey as both batsmen passed 50 with ease. Nichols, returning for the final four overs, managed to remove Coughlan for 50 with a leg-cutter through to the keeper. But Jim Gatting, (son of former England captain Mike) carried on the onslaught. Gatting and Tilley continued to plunder the Windsor bowling and Enfield closed their innings with 240 from their 40 overs.

The Windsor reply started briskly until Davis was caught at mid-on from a leading edge for 11 off Richards bowling. Weston was then removed by a fine off-cutter from Robertson and Windsor’s innings began to falter. A few lusty blows from Riches calmed the waters shortly, but only skipper Craig Bird, looked in any way settled at the crease. The introduction of the spin duo of Jackson and Harding put the handbrake on the Windsor innings with Chorley and Bird struggling to meet the fast-increasing run rate required.

The loss of Chorley, first over after drinks, with the score on 79, saw a flurry of wickets go on the same score. With Bird and Patel also falling without another run being added to the score, the Windsor reply quickly derailed. A brief partnership between Nichols and Malloch, briefly gave the visitors hope, but once both departed the game was lost. A late cameo from Mohindru saw Windsor towards 150. However when the overs ran out, Windsor had lost by 100 runs.

A disappointing game in many ways for The Home Park outfit, more so in the fact that they were the cause of much of their troubles. Better fielding, more consistent lines of bowling and development of partnerships were the key things missing. Yet, all issues that can be worked upon in the coming weeks. The key factor, was talent for talent the teams we well matched, it was just application that was left flagging.

With the league season starting this coming weekend, Windsor can boast a more balanced squad than in previous years. The return of Mark Huggins and development of the club’s younger talent sees the club looking forward to the season with great anticipation. Furthermore, with the introduction of Malloch to take the new ball with Nichols, it should provide Windsor’s Australian overseas player the chance to bowl in an attacking manner this season, rather than merely to contain.

Windsor begins their Division 2A campaign this Saturday with the trip to local rivals Burnham

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