Windsor 3’s matched it against Datchet
Windsor 3’s 257-6
Datchet 83 all out
Windsor 3’s got their league campaign off to the best possible start on Saturday, with a thumping 174 run win over neighbours Datchet.
Under clear blue skies captain Richie Noble won the toss and decided to have first use of what looked like a decent batting track. Usual opener Rob Dawson was partnered by Kev Condon, in good touch following a pre-season 50 a couple of weeks before, and both batsmen were watchful in the opening overs. Solid defence mixed with a couple of impressive boundaries from both openers meant Windsor had progressed to a steady 41-0 after 13 overs, with both batsman looking set. It was therefore a surprise when Dawson missed a straight one from the impressive Luke Shepherd and worse was to follow for Windsor as firstly Kev Condon and then George Gould were bowled in consecutive overs to leave Windsor in trouble at 44-3. This flurry of wickets had brought Noble and new overseas boy Johnny de Villiers to the crease, and together they began rebuilding the Windsor innings. Both were very watchful but equally quick to latch onto anything loose from the Datchet bowlers and the runs soon began to flow again, with de Villiers particularly severe on anything over-pitched. At drinks Windsor were well placed at 112-3, knowing that they had wickets in hand to push for a big score. As the Datchet bowlers wilted in the heat de Villiers and Noble began to open their shoulders, and shots all around the wicket followed. Both batsmen passed 50 and when de Villiers was finally bowled for an impressive 68 Windsor had reached 189-4 with 15 overs remaining. Noble soon followed for 65, brilliantly run out by Chris Edwards, however the onslaught continued as Sam Jordan and Mohammed Alam continued to flay the ball to all parts. Alam departed for a bright and breezy 28 but by this time Windsor were within touching distance of 250 and a couple more lusty blows for Jordan (26no) allowed Windsor to declare 5 overs early, having posted a very impressive 257-6.
With such a big target to defend, Windsor were confident and the northern new ball pairing of Chris Edge and Rob Hodgson quickly found their lines. However, the Datchet opening batsmen were in circumspect mood and it looked as though Windsor would have to work hard for their wickets. It was Hodgson who did eventually get the break through in the 10th over, with Sam Jordan taking a smart catch at cover to leave Datchet on 24-1. Hodgson continued to probe away and both Chris Edwards and Andy Harris were having their share of luck, with a number of aerial shots evading the Windsor infield. One felt that it was only a matter of time before another breakthrough would come and it was Edge who swung the game massively in Windsor’s favour, removing Edwards and White in a double wicket maiden, which left Datchet in trouble at 51-3 after 15 overs. Windsor sensed the game was there for the taking and both Edge and Hodgson continued to chip away, backed up by some fine fielding. Firstly, keeper Marvin Care took a fine catch standing up to remove the dangerous Shepherd and then George Gould took a very sharp chance at third slip off Edge, to get rid of Datchet captain Nick Bellman. With Datchet reeling at 70-7 it was only a matter of time before Windsor wrapped up victory; a good diving catch from Alam and another fine piece of fielding from Gould meant Windsor did not have to wait long, wrapping up the Datchet innings for just 83 in 23 overs, with Edge and Hodgson each claiming 4 wickets.
This was a well deserved and comprehensive victory for Windsor, with every man playing their part in the victory. Windsor captain Richard Noble was understandably delighted. “Its nice to get that first league win and to do it with such a great performance is even more pleasing. I felt that we had a good enough side to go for 25 points and I hope this victory will show the lads what they are capable of. Everyone in the team contributed in one way or another and to bowl a side like Datchet out for just 83 is a top effort. We knew that they have some dangerous players but our boys were magnificent in the field and the challenge now is to maintain that sort of effort and intensity for the rest of the season”
Windsor will now be looking to build on this win next week when they entertain Chesham, no doubt keen to maintain the exceptionally high standards they set for themselves with this performance.