Every Bear has his day!
Windsor 195 for 7; 52 Overs (Nichols 95*)
Hillingdon Manor 181 all out; 40.2 Overs
After the pounding that the Windsor first eleven had received the previous week on the field and by the local press, the visit of Hillingdon Manor last Saturday was seen as a prime opportunity for the team to fight back. What ensued was an incredible comeback from the jaws of what could have been a second humbling within a week.
Upon winning the toss, and sensing a chance to give his batsmen a chance to redeem them for the previous week, Windsor skipper Craig Bird won the toss and choice to bat first. Whilst the sun was shining the pitch was still very damp from the week’s rain and the Hillingdon Opening bowlers found good movement early on. Windsor again lost early wickets, with Bird, Davis, Huggins and Howard all out bowled playing nervous shots in the early overs. Wes Nichols and Stuart Millman began to recover the innings before Millman was caught a square with score on 40. The loss shortly after of Mohindru left Windsor reeling at 42 for 6.
The first crucial partnership then ensued, as Tom Hartridge joined Wes Nichols and slowly began to rebuild the innings. With the ball ageing and Nichols beginning to find his form, the pair began to blunt the Hillingdon attack and frustrate the bowlers as they were looking to wrap the innings up. They put on a valuable 30 run partnership, before Hartridge was caught with a fine diving effort at point.
Bevan Malloch then joined Nichols and the pair began to turn the match on its head. Early steady going belied the onslaught in the last ten overs, as Nichols flew past fifty and Malloch worked the ball around, maintaining the strike for his fellow antipodean. Sensing the opportunity to build a target at which to bowl at, the Windsor opening bowlers began to play some lusty blows. The final two overs were smashed for over 30 and Windsor found themselves on 193 for 7 after their 52 overs, a fantastic turnaround masterminded by Nichols and his fine 95 off nearly 40 overs and ably supported by a fine 43 from Malloch.
After a quick tea, the pair were at it again straight away. Nichols blasted in from the Castle End and removed the Hillingdon opener, caught by Malloch one handed at first slip. Malloch then returned the favour and had the number three caught by Nichols at short midwicket. The pair continued to chip away wickets and despite an incredible cameo from Suther, Hillingdon were five down. Nervous fielding from Windsor then brought Hillingdon back into the game as they began to chip away at the target. Only fine bowling from Mohindru and a wonderful stumping of Lines would put pay to this as Hillingdon reached 150 for 8. The final acts were cast by Windsor’s batting heroes as Malloch removed the number 9, after a plucky knock, then Nichols won the match with a sensational catch off Mohindru.
Incredibly, Windsor had snatched 25 points from a game that they had looked all along like losing, winning in the end by 14 runs. Whilst much celebrating followed the game, the general feeling was that the team had been fortunate to win. An incredible all-round effort from Nichols (95 runs, 3 wickets and 2 catches), ably supported by Malloch (43 runs, 3 wickets and a catch) were the difference between the sides in the end and Windsor know that they need to perform better as a team a build bigger and better scores.
This coming Saturday, Windsor travels to Basingstoke to take on their second team. On what is a free scoring deck, it is a chance for the top order to make amends for the previous two weeks.