WINDSOR 166 (45 overs)
Millman (45), Malloch (38) and Birch (15*)
BOYNE HILL 165 (45 overs)
Kellard 5/37 (7 overs)
After the freezing conditions in the previous weeks trial, the weather gods shone down upon a beautiful Saturday morning as Windsor headed to Boyne Hill for their 2nd installment of their pre-season. Windsor chose exactly the same side that played Egham the week previous as they try to build momentum heading up to the league.
Skipper Wes Nichols won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling on a green but soft wicket, that he assumed would get easier to bat on, as the day progressed.
With Birch seemingly no where in the sight, Windsor had to take the field with 10 men, as Malloch and Nichols resumed their combination from last season. They turned the screws on the Boyne Hill openers, in conditions that where tough for batting. After 10 overs Nichols struck with the last ball of his spell claiming Cousins caught and bowled.
Nichols then introduced a previously absent Birch who bowled with out luck, claiming the edge a few times and having a sharp chance shelled at cover. All this while Malloch at the other end, was bowling with decent rhythm but throwing in the odd random poor ball.
With the batsmen getting more settled against pace, Mohindru was introduced to dry up the runs. This built the required pressure and soon Hobson was caught by Nichols at cover to make Boyne Hill 2/80 after 19. A score of 200+ looking on the cards until Nichols and Mohindru combined to put the squeeze on the middle order. Boyne Hill skipper Tom Mellor scored his 50, but no else really shone as Mohindru claimed his wicket to a fine catch from Riches and the middle order struggled to get the ball away.
With brakes well and truly on, Boyne Hill trudged to 3/130 off 32. Kellard was introduced to tempt the middle order. Attacking fields were set to tempt the batsmen over the top. Kellard took a few overs to get his bearings, but once he did he cut through the Boyne Hill middle/lower order. Ex-Windsor player Smith holed out to extra cover as another ex-Windsor player Nick Cornish was stumped. Kellard began to toss the bowl up and the urge from the inexperienced Boyne Hill batsmen proved too much as they were knocked over for 165.
Malloch chimed in at the death to claim 2 well deserved late wickets, but it was Kellard getting the bowling honors with 5/36 off 7. Mohindru and Nichols were at their miserly best as 165 was thought to be a par total considering the conditions.
Openers Chana and Chorley looked to consolidate early on but a sublime spell of medium bowling from Preston put the brakes on. Windsor where 0/10 off 10 and there was a real lack of effort in running in between he wickets, this heaped loads off pressure on the middle order. This is an area that MUST improve! Chorley (1) was bowled by Preston playing around one from the metronomic Preston and Bird came to the crease. The painfully slow outfield made scoring difficult as Chana (11) gave into the pressure and holed out to extra cover.
From here wickets were lost regularly and the precision bowling of Boyne Hill, used the familiar conditions, put the punch into Windsor’s middle order. Bird (23) played on trying to force the pace, Riches (0) was unlucky to be given LBW to an inside edge and Nichols (1) was run out trying to rotate strike leaving the visitors looking down the barrel at 5 for 65 after 27 overs.
The loss of wickets was a direct result of the top order being unable to rotate strike. This was due to poor running, superb bowling and a very slow outfield. It was left to Millman and Malloch to show the other guys how it is done!
Millman and Malloch slowly set about re-building the innings with superb rotation and hitting the odd boundary. With 6 an over needed Windsor where always in the hunt with these two at the crease and some experienced batting meant that with 6 overs to go, Windsor needed 30 to win. The two had put on 70 before Millman was caught at cover for 45. A gallant knock that put the Windsor side in the box seat.
Birch and Malloch set about the chase in systematic style with brilliant running between the wickets the unorthodox style of Birch reducing the target to 3 off 1 over. Malloch (35) then fell with the finish line well in sight. This brought Mohindru the wicket who was run out but with 1 ball remaining and 1 run needed, Birch (15*) guided the side home in an exciting game.
The best part of the win was the fact that Windsor scored 100 runs in the last 15 overs where conditions where most suited to bowling with a very slow outfield. They paced their chase perfectly, with Malloch, Millman and Birch being the real heroes of the day.
The top order tried their best to keep things a float and a bit more rotation of the strike would have prevented this game from coming down to the wire. But in saying that, the Boyne Hill attack were outstanding with their disciplined lines, and that combined with the turgid out field, was probably asking too much of the Windsor top order, Boyne Hill deserved all the credit, they were too good!
As for Windsor’s bowling, Kellard was good and the wickets should help his confidence. he bowled alot better when the bowl was tossed up and hopefully he will earn form this, he is an attacking option that should be called upon consistently if he keeps up the form. Birch was unlucky to go wicketless and Malloch done a great job at the death.
It was really Nichols and Mohindru who should get all the accolades, as they put Windsor well in the box seat with a uncompromising bowling partnership that yielded an amazing 12 runs in 12 overs! A great effort especially from Mohindru who is rumoured to turn 56 next week!
From here it is back to Home Park as Windsor play the strong Enfield. It will be a good test to see exactly where they are. With Malloch unavailable and 2nd XI bats hardly knocking down the door, it will be interesting to see what is the make up of the side. It will also be nice to play on a deck that should provide a more sporting contest for the batsmen.