Last Ball despair
A dramatic last ball victory for league leaders Harefield over division one new boys Windsor will leave a foul taste in the mouth for the Home Park outfit. Windsor walked away with their heads head high, but will be wondering what might have been as Harefield crept past the winning post on an action packed afternoon.
Windsor’s batting has finally started to click, and having won the toss skipper Watkins strapped the pads on to open up with the ever reliable Craig Bird. Watkins was soon on his way however, playing on to an effort ball from one of the many overseas players in the Harefield side. Bird and Chorley consolidated, building an solid platform with minimum fuss. Gales then set a trap for Bird, despatching two men on the on side for miscued hook. Unfortunately for Gales, the only thing being despatched was the red leather, as Bird tucked in to his military medium pace with a series of thundering cover drives.
Chorley again threatended a score, before being held by a blinder at slip off the inconsistent O’tool. By now the momentum was with windsor, and Greene set about the attack with a series of drives through the V. Greene scores quickly and it surely won’t be long before he notches a big score in Division 1. At 36 however, he fell to another sharp catch off the bowling of Webb, but this only brought new boy Mathews to the wicket, due a big score after some miserable form to date. He duly obliged, blazing the attack all over the park for a quickfire 50.
Anchor man Bird finally fell, trying one big wipe too many, but Windsor were well placed at 180 for 5 with 10 overs to go. Unfortunately Windsor could not capitalise on a great position. Huggins played a sublime flick off his toes for 4, before falling to another good catch as he aimed to hit one back to Windsor. The big right hander looks badly in need of some net practice. The tail didn’t wag, and after the normally reliable but plodding Thompson was easily run out, the innings was soon wrapped up for 215, some 30 short of where Windsor should have been. Gale will be satisfied with 6 wickets for his medium pace trundlers.
In reply strike bowler Huggins sent Young back to the pavilion with a snorter early on, the lanky right bat hander looking out of his league against the fire and brimstone approach of the young Berkshire ace. Watkins was miserly as ever, conceding only 8 runs off his first 10 overs. Kiwi imports Mcleod and Ready were a class act however, and they accumulated well, keeping the scoreboard moving at around 3 and over for the first 30. Huggins lost his footing on the crumbling pitch, and Watkins quickly brought old timer Spence into the attack to take all of the pace off the ball. Ball magician Mohindru also came into the attack, and as the tense run chase approached it’s latter stages, both Kiwis were well set at the wicket.
Spence then made the crucial breakthrough. Mclead dance down the wicket, and stand in keeper Rob Noble had the bails off in a flash – one of two stumpings in the afternoon for the more than tidy keeper. Ready followed, skying one to the outfield off Mohindru’s tweakers. Windsor were back in the game. Spence then ripped out the middle order, Hill, Web and Gayle having no answer to his flight and turn. The run chase was faltering and Windsor sensed a chance of victory. Watkins returned, picking up the dangerous Lyall, and as Spence took the ball for the final over, the home side needed 16 to win with 3 wickets in hand. A dropped catch, a missed run out and some decent blows from McConnon took Harefield home off the final ball. The difference between the two sides were two dropped catches and failure to bat the overs. Gutting for Windsor, but the Home Park outfit are now starting to look like a formidable side in division one.
C Bird Ct Mcloud Bd Lines 50
D Watkins Bd Gales 5
A Chorley Ct Giles Bd O’Tool 18
M Greene Ct Hill Bd Webb 36
R Mathews Ct Mcloud Bd Gale 52
M Huggins Ct Mcloud Bd Gale 10
P Thompson Run Out 8
M Gould LBW Bd Gale 0
R Noble Bd Gale 2
W Spence Ct & Bd Bd Gale 5
R Mohindru Not Out 2
Total 215 for 10 off 49.2 overs
Gale 18 overs, 6 for 86
R Mcloud Ct Greene Bd Spence 58
S Young LBW Bd Huggins 4
A Ready Ct Mathews Bd Mohindru 83
D Lyall Ct Mathews Bd Watkins 32
A Hill Ct Huggins Bd Spence 2
M Webb St Noble Bd Spence 2
S McConnon Not Out 16
A Gayle St Boble Spence 3
N Lias Not Out 8
Total 216 for 7 off 51 overs