Matthews is silver lining in Windsors Rain Cloud
Courtesy of www.thisiswindsor.com.
ON an afternoon where weather ruined so many games one performance stood out like a shining beacon in the gloomy skies.
Rob Matthews hit an astonishing 141 not out in Windsor 2’s 196-6. His runs came out of the 182 added when he was at the middle, it may turn out to be the most remarkable innings of the season even though it will not count for anything in the end when rain forced the teams off.
Opponents Farnham made the better start, quickly reducing Windsor to 14-2 when Matthews strode out. He scored 77 per cent of the runs added, 130 more than the next highest scorer (Nigel Wing with 11) and in one over despatched Farnham skipper Scott Wilcox for 26 runs with a scoring sequence of 4, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4.
When his final partner of the day Abdul Ashraf came to the crease the air made a 50 stand, by this stage Ashraf was still on 0 not out! Matthews, who lives in London and works as a freelance photographer, also scored a century on his debut this season against Cranbourne and was very modest about his achievements.
“When I went out there it was tricky and so I just tried to stay there and keep an eye on the wicket as it was doing quite a bit. Even though the other batsmen weren’t scoring too many at the other end they gave me great support so I was able to open my shoulders once I passed 100. I was very pleased because it was my highest score. I have had about 12 or 13 centuries before but none like this. I also brought up my ton with a six and have never done that before, I had no idea I was that close and wouldn’t have tried to do that if I knew!”
Matthews is clearly a pedigree player.
He played for the English Universities XI when he was a student at Exeter and has also played league cricket in Surrey. Work restricted his appearances in recent seasons but his friend, and Windsor stalwart, Matthew Joel persuaded him to join the club this season.
“I am really enjoy it here and there is a really good atmosphere. In the Surrey League there was too much nastiness around which went beyond banter but I have not seen that so far here. Now I hope to get into the Firsts and keep my place there.
“I worked lots of Saturdays during the football season so I could get time off to play cricket.”
The left-hander will get his chance in the first team this Saturday against North Maidenhead but skipper Deri Watkins admits he would not have been included had the 11 from Saturday been available, as it is Craig Bird cannot play.
“It would have been a very tough selection decision if Craig was around but a nice dilemma to have,” said Watkins.
“But I would have gone with the same team which began the first game of the season because nobody has done anything to merit them being dropped and it would not be fair. As it is things have worked out nicely and Rob will come in.
He should have no problem playing at this level.”
Play came to a halt in the first team game after 21 overs at Thatcham Town with the home side on 86-2.
“It was a shame,” added Watkins “We had just picked up the wickets and the game was starting to get quite interesting. Thatcham looked much stronger than Basingstoke II (who Windsor beat the previous week) and I think it would have been close.”