Windsor 178 (Das 52)
It was a much improved and certainly better focused Windsor team that took the field against last season’s relegated team and pre season favourites to return Beaconsfield. It was the first outing on the main square which given the weather was damp but looked in good nick although both captains would have bowled first, the honour falling to Beaconsfield after winning the toss.
Given the batting capitulation the week before the dogged defence of Doye and Noble in the face of an experienced and accurate Beaconsfield attack was a joy to behold. Both toughed it out and it wasn’t until the 13th over that the shoulder of Nobles bat caught a spitting ball that Beaconsfield got the breakthrough but they had done the job of seeing off the new ball in difficult conditions that setup the rest of the innnings. McInnery looked a million dollars in his cameo 30 and will be disappointed to get out after establishing himself on a tricky wicket. However it was the two 16 year old’s Kurran Mangat and Kevin Das who really held the innings together. Both combined watchful defence with some brutal hitting of the bad ball to take Windsor after 52 overs to a probable par score of 178 given the conditions with Das registering his first 50 of the season.
Windsor’s response got off to a great start with the almost unrecognisable pairing from the week before of Chambers and Peacock causing havoc with the Beaconsfield top order. Chambers made the initial breakthrough and was soon joined by Peacock as Windsor reduced Beaconsfield to 31-3. A couple of dropped chances in outfield didn’t help Windsor’s cause but the ground fielding was superb with runs being kept to a premium. The introduction of Edge and Simret Mangat again broke partnerships and Beaconsfield were struggling against the rate at 134-7 with 12 overs to go. Sensing Beaconsfield may be giving up he ghost on the run chase, the spinners were recalled and attacking fields set to encourage the lower order to have a dart. Sullivan, who had earlier picked up 4 wickets was up for the challenge and utilising the short straight boundaries starting attacking the bowling. When Peacock removed the obdurate Murphy for 35 it looked like the game was swinging in Windsor’s favour even more so when Mangat had had Owen trapped LBW. However, Sullivan, joined by Slade, who looked remarkably comfortable for a number 11 didn’t give up the chase. The field was kept in but neither really gave any chances and made maximum use of any bad balls. It was still in Windsor’s hand’s in the final over needing 1 wicket with 14 runs to get. The field however was still up looking for the victory when it could so easily have been set up guarding against a loss and Sullivan managed a huge six followed by a four and was on strike with one ball to go and 5 needed for victory. The stage was set with every fielder on the boundary, and Sullivan was a match for it, hitting the ball out of the ground for a six that would probably have been a maximum on any test match ground in the world.
A great game of cricket, played by two sides who were always looking to win, rather than play negative result-less cricket. Let’s hope this is a glimpse of the things to come this season.