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Windsor take plaudits but miss out on the points

Windsor were inserted on a motorway of a wicket away to relegation contenders Basingstoke on Saturday. Perhaps confused by the surprise insertion, skipper Watkins again strapped the pads on attempting to lead from the front. Unfortunately, after one blazing square drive off the hapless Vinn he fell LBW to the lively Bowen. The normally ever reliable Bird was for once not out attempting one big wipe to many, instead he played all around a gentle straight one from the omnipresent Bowen. Former Windsor great Andy Chorley then set about responsibly rebuilding the Windsor innings, cutting out from his repertoire the usual crazy shots that blight many of his innings’. He played some exquisite drives and cuts on his way to a well deserved 52.

Joel flattered to deceive, playing some effortless off drives extracted directly from the top drawer before edging a wide half volley behind off the bowling of Vinn. Aussie youngster Greene fell LBW, again to Bowen, after making only 6. Greene’s disappointment will be amplified by the fact the he took a sizeable chunk out of the ball with his inside edge. The Windsor innings rocked as Chorley offered a simple chance to mid wicket and the Basingstoke skippers gamble looked to be paying off as the visitors slumped to 80 for 4.

Watkins then implemented his crisis management system, in the form of Pete Thompson, a master at steadying the ship. The Yorkshireman set out his stall early with a straight bat and stubborn refusal to take unnecessary risks. At the other end, the classy Rob Mathews continued his upturn in form with a brisk 28, including some fine leg side strokeplay. As he fell to skipper Harsham’s medium pace, it served only to bring blazing Berkshire ace Mark Huggins to the wicket eager to dish out some treatment with his 3 pound plus willow. The contrast was like chalk and cheese, Thompson dogged and determined, Huggins carefree and explosive. The two added 85 for the 6th wicket, and the momentum was back with Windsor.

As Huggins fell to a mis directed hammer blow for a vintage 57, keeper Clifford’s arrival only hastened the scoring, with an exemplary display of cuts and pulls that would put the top order to shame. In the final assault, stalwart Thompson finally fell for 38, but the damage was done. Windsor were on top at half time.

In reply Watkins quickly picked up Dvamer for a duck before falling injured with a chronic back injury. Huggins and Thompson took on the new ball, but with limited penetration it was not long before the mysterious Mohindru and senior pro Wayne Spence were in the attack to take the pace off the ball. Mohindru bowled with verve and consistently beat the outside edge with his mixture of gentle away swing and sharp turners. At the other end, Spence quickly dealt with Droy thanks to a sharp piece of work behind the stumps from young Clifford. Richards made steady progress, building a solid partnership with Froud, before the dangerous Spence sent both packing with some more aggressive off spin. Spence consistently picks up top order wickets and is proving to be the key man in the Windsor bowling line up.

Basingstoke were loosing wickets, but scoring fairly quickly, and with a key bowler out of action, the game hung on a knife edge. At that point the two spin kings really earned their bacon. Mohindru sent one clean through Neale and Spence picked up Jones thanks to a smart catch from Thompson. From here Windsor were in control, using up overs before beginning the final assault. Watkins brought Huggins into the attack in an attempt to pick up the final 3 wickets, and he soon was rewarding his skippers faith. Karsham was bagged at square leg by Mohindru, before an outrageous slower ball sent Bowen on his way.

With 10 men able to bat, Windsor were a nailbiting snick away from 25 points, but it just wasn’t to be this time. Windsor will be satisfied with a good days work and 14 points, but having outplayed Basingstoke in all departments, one wonders what might have been.

D Watkins LBW Bowen 5

C BIrd Bd Bowen 0

A Chorley Ct Bowen Vinn 52

M Joel Ct Vinn 20

M Greene LBW Bowen 6

P Thompson Ct Harsham 39

R Mathews Ct Bowen Harsham 28

M Huggins Ct Bowen 57

B Clifford Not Out 30

W Spence Not Out 0

251 – 8 off 52 overs

Bowen 4 – 81

M Richards Bd Spence 36

S Dvamer Ct Green Watkins 0

R Froud St Clifford Spence 47

R Droy Ct Clifford Spence 6

A Neale Bd Mohindru 30

N Williams Not Out 21

S Jones Ct Thompson Spence 11

K Harsham Ct Mohindru Huggins 0

R Bowen LBW Huggins 6

178 – 8 off 48 overs

Huggins 2-45

Spence 4-46

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