Windsor 3rd XI 222 (RW Noble 50, C George 39)
Chesham 3rd XI 156-8 (T Helm 71, R Gregory 4-49)
Windsor’s promotion campaign continues to stutter after one of the strongest Windsor 3rd XI line-ups the club has known failed to finish off a young Chesham side at Chartridge CC.
The team was 50/50 as to whether we should bat or bowl first so it was left to skipper Noble to make the decision if the coin came down in his favour. It was the archetypal “good toss to lose” scenario so there was no doubt we would win it, which duly happened and Noble took the impulse decision to gamble and go for the maximum points by batting first on a damp wicket.
That decision looked even less inspired as Kev Condon fell in the second over without a run on the board and George Gould (2) also fell quickly in the face of some very good and tight Chesham bowling which gave nothing away and after 10 overs Windsor were struggling at 16-2.
Skipper Noble joined opener Brian Davis (34) at the crease and together they began to repair the innings and put together a good, solid partnership until Noble was unluckily run out when a hard straight drive from Davis was deflected onto the stumps by the bowler. The Windsor batsmen continued to get themselves out after promising starts as Murray and Davis both skied catches and Chris George played a nice cameo innings full of impressive drives before falling for a 39 which really moved the total along. Charters fell quickly and Richard Gregory, batting at No.9 chipped in with some lusty blows including two big sixes to push the total over 200 and Rob Hodgson carried this on by hitting a massive six into the adjoining field before being last man out in the final over.
However, the glue which held the Windsor innings together was provided by veteran Robert Noble. Content to let the other batsmen take the limelight, he moved effortlessly into the forties with good solid batting by nudging and nurdling the ones and twos and keeping the scoreboard ticking before hitting a very impressive slog-sweep six over the longest boundary on the pitch before being run out after completing his 50th run in the penultimate over of the innings.
The sun had dried out the pitch by the time the Chesham innings got underway yet Windsor started the innings in the best possible way by taking three quick wickets to leave Chesham at 12-3 as young batsmen Helm came to the crease. Brian Davis took a wicket in his first over but the fifth wicket was proving a problem for Windsor as the two Chesham youngsters took the attack to Windsor and the game was back in the balance at 100-4 before an excellent piece of fielding between Gregory and young Steve Day contributed to a run out to break the partnership and Davis picked up his second wicket in the next over and Windsor were once again smelling victory. Yet again though, two Chesham youngsters came together to form a solid barrier to any progress Windsor were trying to make. Skipper Noble threw everything at the pair, rotating the bowlers and asking Charters and Condon to bowl some spin to try and tempt the Chesham youngsters into hitting out but they did not succumb and in a final throw of the dice brought opener Gregory back into the attack and he finally managed to get Helm out LBW and followed that up with another quick wicket, his 4th, and Windsor now required two wickets from the last three overs but they did not come as the Chesham colts held out for the draw.
Windsor have now been overtaken at the top of the league by Harefield who are the visitors to Home Park next Saturday in what promises to be a very tight and keenly contested match.