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Bend it like Bevan

Burnham 99 all out 31.4 Overs (Malloch 6 for 50; Nichols 4 for 47)
Windsor 100 for 2 25 Overs (Bird 51)

The Thames Valley league season started initially under umbrellas for Windsor CC first eleven last Saturday, but would prove to finish under blue skies and an impressive victory.

After travelling the short distance to Burnham and with the covers still on the wicket, Windsor were asked to field first in overcast conditions. However, in the midst of the final warm-ups before the start of the game, the heavens opened and play was unable to start on time. After a near hour and a half delay and with the game reduced to 72 overs in total, play would finally get underway.

The visitors were immediately on top as Wes Nichols removed Burnham’s left-handed opener with a fast, accurate bouncer that he could only bunt to Davis at mid-wicket. Bevan Malloch, playing his first league game for the club, would then join in on the action removing two further wickets, leaving Burnham 1 for 3 after 4 overs. Making the most of the ball swinging, the Windsor new ball pair continued to attack, with both picking up further early wickets to leave Burnham precariously set at 17 for 5. A brief cameo from the Burnham keeper and their young talent saw the score rise towards the century, but Windsor continued to stay on top by taking wickets and pulling off some stunning fielding (including a spectacular diving catch by Hartridge). When Malloch took his sixth wicket to end the innings, Burnham closed with a score of 99.

Windsor began their reply with regular openers Craig Bird and Brian Davis. With one eye on the weather, there was a general feeling that trying to knock the runs off quickly would be the best approach. Fortunately for Windsor, despite some early movement, Burnham’s bark was far worst than their bite, as they were soon on top. The entertaining (if somewhat unoriginal) banter being put forward by the Burnham field was simply focusing the Windsor pair and the score soon past 50 without loss. With Davis playing the supporting role, the Windsor skipper Bird, started to play some searing shots to all parts and passed fifty with ease. However, Bird (51) lost his wicket to slightly overambitious shot and the opening partnership was broken at 72. Millman joined Davis and pair patiently worked their way towards the target. With the winning post in sight and Burnham reverting to part-time bowlers, Davis (22) top edged a full toss to deep square leg and Windsor lost their second wicket, thereby giving Burnham their first league point. Huggins joined the fray, playing in typically aggressive fashion had no intention on hanging around and the target of 100 was reached soon after. Windsor had won by 8 wickets and quite simply outplayed Burnham in aspects on the day.

The win was greeted with delight by the Windsor team and was testament to the team effort on the day. The accurate bowling was matched by some athletic fielding and then the game completed by a measured approached to the batting. With more yet in the locker, the team confidence is high for season ahead.

Wokingham visit The Home Park this coming Saturday, as the Windsor first team return from a lengthy road spell for their first home game of the season. With confidence high, the team will look to continue the winning ways.

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