Windsor 3rd XI 297-7dec (R.E Noble 82, C George 60)
Harefield 3rd XI 204-7 (M Petley 61no, D Bean 5-47)
Windsor 3rd XI closed the gap on league leaders Harefield to just 4 points after this bore draw at Home Park on Saturday.
As the week before at Chesham, Windsor won the toss and Noble decided to bat first and go for maximum points in the searing heat. Rob Noble and Kev Condon got Windsor off to a free scoring start but a few quick wickets in the middle order saw Windsor slip to 80-4 at the 20 over mark. However, from the moment Chris George strode to the crease in the 21st over Windsor’s innings took a sudden upturn with George hitting a plethora of boundaries. Captain Noble was quite content to play the anchor role at the other end. George eventually fell for a rapid 60 in the 36th over with the partnership just shy of the 100 mark. Alex Haynes joined Noble at the crease and was happy to knock the singles as Noble came out of his shell and soon passed the 50 mark. It was then that he exploded with some fine boundaries including one big 6 over long on. Haynes then joined in with the hitting as Windsor sped along as Noble ignored the temptation to declare, preferring to ensure that victory was beyond the means of Harefield which would mean at least Windsor would gain points over their rivals. Noble eventually fell for a fine 82 attempting one hit too many and after Andrew Doree had hit his first two balls for four Noble finally declared in the 51st over when Alex Haynes was out for an impressive 44 with Windsor finishing on 297-7.
Windsor came out looking for quick wickets and despite the first few overs passing without a chance, the Dean machine got the Windsor train moving soon enough as the opening batsmen picked out George Gould at cover. He then picked up another wicket quickly after that and Windsor were motoring. Kevin Condon was introduced to the attack as first change bowler at the pavilion end and was getting a lot of turn, unfortunately too much for the batsmen and for wicketkeeper George as the ‘byes’ column hit double figures but Condon did manage to snare a wicket when he turned one between the gate of the batsmen.
Dean Bean continued to chip away at the wickets from the Datchet end and when he picked up his 5th and Windsor’s 6th of the innings with the score yet to hit 100 Windsor set their eyes on victory. However a combination of an old worn ball offering little assistance to the bowlers and a superb innings of 61 not out from the Harefield left hander M. Petley combined the patience of Boycott with the odd boundary to dry up the wickets and to take his side past the 200 mark. Windsor managed to get one more wicket as Noble turned to the spin of Alex Haynes but yet again Windsor could not prise the last few wickets from the opposition and had to settle for 13 points. That is three weeks without victory for Windsor 3rd XI as they slip to 3rd place in the table, only four points off the top of the table however. Windsor tackle Farnham Royal away on Saturday looking to get back to winning ways and hope to get back to the top of the table as we enter the business end of the season.