WINDSOR 9/145 (6 points)
MARLOW 8/175 (13 points)
After the prior weekends fabulous weather, it only stood to reason that the heavens would more than make up for it, as the rain and cold found its way to Home Park for the first XI’s game against Marlow CC.
Marlow is on a fast track to get back to Division 1 as soon as possible after an abbreviation in 2007. Windsor had other ideas as they made only one chance from the side that was humbled by Datchet.
Six wicket all-rounder Brian Davis form the 2nd team forced his way in for an absent Bevan Malloch.
Windsor won the toss and with a juicy wicket at their disposal, skipper Wes Nichols has no hesitations in asking the opposition to bat. The overcast conditions meant that batting would be difficult but early breakthroughs paramount. He thought the conditions would also help his inexperienced attack of Davis and Hill.
It did not take long for Windsor to make the conditions count, as Nichols removed one of the openers to a fine catch at 2nd slip to Birch in the 1st over. Nichols was enjoying the new found pace in the wicket as he removed Marlows other opener and 1st drop inside the first 10 overs, caught be keeper Baumgartner to have the visitors reeling at 3/35. Davis at the other end was doing a superb job, bowling tight while Nichols capitalised on his good work at the other end.
Unfortunately the 1st of several rain delays haltered Windsors momentum. After the 20 minute break Windsor had to start again. Marlow capitalised on this but the 4th wicket eventually did fall as Nichols gained his 4th to a peach of an inswinger to cartwheel the Marlow SAF overseas middle stump!
Nichols then gained Marlows main man in Paskins to gain his 5th wicket and the have Marlow looking down the barrel at 5/69.
From here yet another rain delay pushed its way into the game. An early lunch was taken, As Marlow sought a way to carry on to the 44th and final over in the rain reduced fixture.
Unfortunately for Windsor, the rain in the outfield made the ball as slippery as soap. The rain had found its way into the seam reducing the movement the ball was offering Windsor, and from here Marlow found their stride.
Nichols claimed his 6th wicket to have Marlow 6/97 but a crucial 7th wicket partnership blew the game right open. With Hill struggling at the other end with the different conditions, Nichols was left the shoulder the burden as Mohindru was introduced to take the pace off the ball.
Marlow after getting a sighter, took full advantage of the bowling change, and punished the veteran off spinner by hitting some big 6’s! Nichols was also coming in for some treatment, and some embarrassing moments in the slippery out field meant that Marlow was let right back into the game. From being 6/97, Marlow moved onto 8/175 off their allotted 44 overs.
This was a devastating for Windsor who had done all the hard work in the lead up, but let it all unravel in the last 10 overs, as Marlow scored 70 runs to push the game back in their favour.
Nichols was the mainstay of the attack claiming 7/59 off 22 continuous overs. Mohindru claimed 1/60 off 9 with Davis unlucky not to get more overs took 0/14 off 5. The rain and harsh conditions did make fielding tough, but there was no excuse for the embarrassing way Windsor capitulated under the Marlow pressure.
A 10 minute break saw Windsor face the tough ask of 4 runs an over in terrible conditions. Marlow with a new ball on a seamers paradise, claimed Chana for 0. Chorley followed a few overs later caught and bowled. At one end Hampton bowled a sublime spell of fast bowling getting the ball to talk as he removed Bird to a sublime delivery to be caught behind as Windsor had faltered to 3/19.
Millman and Nichols set about rebuilding the innings as they persevered in the tough conditions. Marlow could smell blood in the water as they set in for the kill, but the two Windsor batsmen stuck it out putting on 80 runs to build the score to 3/104 in the 30th over.
Windsor where well in the box seat, with Nichols well set and Millhouse hitting some solid shots but disaster struck when Millman fell for 35 to a fine leg cutter he fending off his chest to be caught at 1st slip. Birch than played a meek shot next ball, to leave Windsor 5/104 with 9 overs to go.
With batting difficult to get going without spending time at the wicket, Nichols was the only hope as he tried to keep the run rate ticking. He got his 50, but then Davis was removed shortly after LBW. Hill than fell next over for 0 and all hope Windsor had of winning fell with him.
Nichols in a valiant quest to keep the runs coming was then removed for 58, leaving Baumgartner and Monhindru to save a draw. Mohindru kept the visitors in the hunt losing his wicket with 3 overs to spare, but Kellard came in and was solid as a rock, to prevent Marlow form getting the extra points they really did deserve, and spare Windsor a 0 and 2 start to the season!
It was a game that was heavily influenced by the weather and a shame that Windsor, although winning the toss, where most adversely affected by it. In saying that the game was lost in the last 10 overs they where in the field, as a score of 140 would have been more than achievable, and had gotten Windsor 20 crucial points that they are going to need in this difficult league.
The only good things to come out of the day was the continued good form of Millman, the tight bowling of Davis and the performance of skipper Wes Nichols. Its not very often a player can claim 7/59, top score with 58 and be 1 wicket away from being on a losing side…
This Windsor side has alot of questions to ask themselves in the next few weeks, and the work to answer them starts at training.
There where murmurs at the ground from the Marlow visitors and others, that Windsor seems to be a one man team… The Windsor skipper was embarrassed to hear this, but only the 10 other lads fronting up next week can silence those voices…
Finger crossed the weather will hold out and Windsor can prove to everyone how good a side they can be. Time will tell.