Inch by inch…..
WINDSOR 2 201 (Millman 46)
After the disappointment of narrowly failing in a run chase the week before against rivals Slough, Windsor knew they had to go to top of the league Bracknell 1st XI and win to keep any chance of promotion alive this season. They saved the best performance and recorded their first 25 point win of the season in an absorbing game of cat and mouse that saw Windsor win in the penultimate over.
Losing the toss Windsor were asked to bat and were immediately on the back foot as Richard Noble edged opener Hayes to first slip. However, Tim Smith and Abdul Ashraf regrouped and motored along with the scoring. Smith in particular looking in good form as an early six over the long on boundary proved. The run rate was accelerating at 4 an over although when both fell in quick succession and Mark Huggins fell to an excellent catch at point Windsor were faltering at 86-5. Rob Dawson attempted the recovery but it was in-form Stuart Millman who looked the most comfortable scoring freely around the ground. As wickets steadily fell around him, he took the attack to Bracknell and key partnerships towards the end with Oliver Birch and Chris Edge saw Windsor within spitting distance of maximum batting points before he fell for 46, although Windsor did manage to get over the 200 mark in the final over to set Bracknell a challenging total.
Windsor knew that the key to Bracknell’s run chase would depend on getting 4b run machine Wes Kendrick and Captain John Kirkby out early. Although openers Mark Huggins and Warren Griffiths struggled for the first few overs both were fired up for the encounter, Huggins in particular finding some blistering pace which lead to him getting the breakthrough of Wendrick being cleaned bowled and their other opener trapped plumb in front LBW. Griffiths then upped his game and Tim Smith behind the stumps took a sharp chance and the game was alive. The introduction of Rahoul Mohindru turned the screw as Windsor came into the ascendancy and Chris Edge took two quick wickets to put Bracknell on the back foot. However the game swung in Windsor’s favour when Kirkby fell to a sharp stumping from Smith from Mohindruh’s bowling and Windsor knew they were in with a great chance of polishing off the tail. The reintroduction of Huggins saw him clean bowl Bracknells No.10 but vice captain Hiscoe was in no mood to give Windsor the points and with usual opener Hayes at the other end Windsor found it difficult break the final pair. However, with 2 overs to go Windsor reintroduced seamer Griffiths in an attempt to make the breakthrough. His first ball was wide, he then produced two full tosses, before bowling the ball of his life that completely squared Hayes up to take his off stump and wrap the game up for Windsor.
It was the second great game of cricket Windsor had played in two weeks and again another great advertisement for Bracknell who played hard but with a spirit, especially in defeat, that is a credit to themselves and their club. With one game to go Windsor need a victory in their final game against High Wycombe at the Home Park, and hope OMT or Bracknell fail to win of any kind, to gain promotion. Play starts at 12.30 – bring your brown trousers!