Windsor chases hard to the line
Saturday 19th August
Chiswick & Latymer 281 for 5; 52 Overs (Davis 63, E. Haq 77)
Windsor 279 for 6; 48 Overs (Millman 87, Clarke 83)
After a sub-par performance the week before, Windsor looked to bounce back immediately with a visit to top-of-the-table Chiswick in a battle for top spot. It became immediately obvious what Chiswick’s intentions were, when upon winning the toss on a green-top, they batted first in an attempt to gain maximum batting points and make chasing hard. Whilst a tactic that would mean they had relative control on the flow of the game, it would almost prove to backfire.
Early wickets did not come Windsor’s way once again as whilst Nichols bowled well from one end, Windsor struggle to contain the runs at the other at the other. Chiswick openers Van Den Berg and Davis were both patient with the good balls and punishing with the anything remotely bad. With the score on 40 after 10 overs, Windsor then managed to peg the scoring back as Granger found a consistent length and Nichols bowled maiden after maiden. The pressure told when Granger managed to trap Van Den Berg lbw in the 20th over. Chiswick then struggled to find runs, but it was Windsor who would turn the innings when frustration got the better all round and fielding errors began to slip in. With the loss of Davis for a well-crafted 63, Chiswick were left with 10 overs left and 140 on the board. A vital drop at point off Bangladeshi Test Batsman Haq when he hadn’t scored would soon prove crucial as the home side began to cut loose. The short straight boundary came into affect as Haq looked to go over the top off Nichols, spoiling what had previously been impressive figures. The Windsor fielding continued to falter, with catches dropped all over and only a fabulous run out by Granger being anything like the standard expected. Chiswick managed to plunder 140 off their final 10 overs, setting Windsor 281 to win off the minimum 48 overs and seemingly playing them out of the game.
Windsor endured early pressure from the new ball on a still lively wicket. The scalp of Davis typified this, as he gloved a lifting delivery to the keeper with the score on 12. Bird looked to have settled in well until he hit a thunderbolt to mid-on that was caught well by the fielder. With two early wickets down, Chiswick looked to press home the advantage, but Windsor started to counter attack. With the movement abating and the pitch playing true, Millman and Clarke began to build a huge partnership. Moreover, the pace that they were scoring runs soon saw Windsor back in with a shout in the game. Both passed fifty and seemed set on converting to big hundreds. Luck would conspire against both as first Clarke mistimed a drive off his boot to cover and then, despite building a good partnership with Nichols, Millman too perished in the pursuit of runs, trapped leg before. Nichols took on the aggressive mantle and along with Granger (playing an uncharacteristically restrained supportive role) they managed to get Windsor in sight of victory. With 30 to win off 3 overs, Nichols perished, run out to a direct hit by Haq, bringing Doye to wicket. The tension was unbearable as the last over began and Windsor needed 11 to win. An almighty swing from Doye off ball one gleaned no runs and 4 balls and 7 runs later, Windsor need 4 to win off 1 ball. Granger unleashed a tracer bullet of a straight drive to straight mid on, which was bravely stopped by the Chiswick fielder. Confusion and disappointment in the middle saw Granger run out and Chiswick pick up a vital bonus point. The game ended in a draw, but the 6-point difference between the two teams belied to quality of the game.
After such a nail biting game, Windsor were left with the knowledge that if one piece of the poor fielding earlier in the game had been rectified, the result may have gone their way. As such, they will be looking for an improved performance on their return to the Home Park this week to the visit of Finchampstead.