Windsor stifled by negative tactics.
Windsor 257 for 7; 49 Overs (Millman 85, Bird 57)
OMT 208 for 7; 51 Overs (Walter 71)
After the fun and games of the week before, Windsor travelled to bottom club OMT with their sights firmly set on winning the game. Upon winning the toss (again!), skipper Craig Bird had no hesitation in choosing to bat first.
Regular openers Bird and Davis seemed rather more eager to start the game than the home side, as OMT entered the field in dribs and drabs of players looking less than keen. An uncharacteristic shot by Davis saw an early wicket and arguably him miss his chance to cash in. From then on Bird and Millman took root and began to plunder the OMT bowling. Bird completed his fourth half-century in succession and looked set to convert this into a big score until he was caught and bowled sharply by Lamb.
Millman continued to impress with shots all around the ground, particularly severe with the cut and pull on anything short. Granger, returning to the Windsor fold for the first time this year, batted well until to succumbing to an impatient end. Nichols form continues to flag with the bat and a brief cameo came and went before he got settled. Bustling all-rounder Watkins then joined Millman and the scoring rate picked up once again. As Millman neared a deserved century, the Windsor curse struck again as he holed out to mid-on whilst on 85. Chana joined Watkins and provided excellent support as the former captain began to unleash his characteristic big hits as Windsor careered past 200. Upon the loss of Watkins and Mohindru, Windsor reached 250 and declared the innings early and leave 51 overs to bowl out OMT.
The innings start in brisk fashion, as Granger and Nichols probed straight away, with the former picking up a wicket with the final ball of his first over. OMT then began to show some severe fight and went on the attack as the Windsor pace tandem tried in vain to get some life out of the featherbed surface. OMT continued at 5 to 6 an over and set a good foundation for a run chase. Only, when Granger took a fine return catch, was it that the impetus was broken, removing Stamp for a fine 40. Two quick wickets then fell to Nichols’ bouncer and OMT were struggling at 60 for 4.
Then came a period of negative play from the home side. Whilst set well in terms of run rate, the fear of another loss saw them “shut up shop” for 10 overs, preferring to use the pad instead of the bat to Windsor’s spinners. In an attempt to get them interested, Windsor began to lob the ball up more and leave gaping holes in the field. OMT woke up and began to take advantage and the run rate grew once again. Some poor fielding by Windsor saw chances dropped though and the game slowed once again. Lines bowled well on his first team debut, But the desired effect was finally found when Granger returned and took the fifth wicket via a cracking catch by Nichols, by which time though OMT seemed more interested in the 1 extra point for 200 than the 20 points for the win. Then shutters were pulled down and the game petered out to a draw, with Windsor pushing hard to the end, claiming two further wickets.
For a side that had come within 12 runs of chasing 400 earlier in the season to not go after 250 was disappointing, but Windsor’s lack of penetration on a featherbed pitch was also a key factor. This Saturday sees Windsor visit Datchet in a crucial match in terms of the race for the title. With 10 points between first and fourth place, the six remaining games promises to lead to a tight finish a closely fought Division 2A.