Wes Nichols destroys Wokingham despite impressive knock from Child Prodigy
Round 6 saw Windsor host Wokingham on a cold and damp day down at home park. Mark Lines came back into the side with Harmeet Chana away on holiday
The forecast for the day was for persistent rain, Wokingham won the toss and asked Windsor to bat first on a wicket that had plenty of grass on it.
Nichols and Weston again opened the innings, Nichols was very lucky not to be out off the 3rd ball of the innings, as he was struck plumb in front of the stumps only to be saved by a no ball call. Weston was also given a life after fending a rising delivery over 2nd slip. The pair then made Wokingham pay as they smashing 48 off the first 6 overs. Spin was quickly introduced which temporarily slowed the run rate however the Aussie pair kept the scoreboard ticking at went to drinks in a commanding position of 90/0.
The runs continued to flow after drinks, as the pairs’ 2nd consecutive 100 partnership was brought up and they both passed 50. From the 30th over the rain started to close in so Windsor looked to capitalise on their good start and upped the scoring rate even further. The score raced past 150 and both batters looked set to register 100’s, Weston however fell for 87 as he slashed a wide delivery straight to point, 176/1 off 34 overs. Huggins joined Nichols at the crease and the pair took the score to 191/1 from 39 overs before rained forced the players off the field.
An early tea was taken during the rain interruption as news began filtering inform around the league that most games had already been washed out. Windsor sensed a real opportunity to gain points on their rivals if they could complete the game. Upon resumption Windsor scored the runs needed to push their total past 200 and earn maximum batting points, Weston immediately called a close to the innings with Nichols stranded on 93 not out, just 7 runs short of his first league century.
Wokingham were set 203 to win from 52 overs, Malik and Mohindru opened the bowling for Windsor against a Wokingham odd couple that included 13 y/o child prodigy, Prithvi Shaw. According to sources, Shaw has spent the last 12 months smashing Sachin Tendulkar’s under age records in Mumbai, he’s certainly the only 13 y/o to take the field against Windsor credited with a triple and multiple double centuries! Mohindru was very unlucky not to have him adjudged LBW in his 2nd over as an attempted swept struck him in what all of Windsor thought to be middle stump. The Wokingham openers set about chasing the target in a very positive fashion and it took a superb delivery from Malik and an equally good catch from Care behind the stumps to remove the first Wokingham batsman with the score on 40.
Shaw played some beautiful shots in the middle overs and saw Wokingham to drinks with the match evenly poised at 118/4. A change of tactics for Windsor followed the interval with Nichols bowling from the castle end, the field to Shaw spread, and the focus shifting to getting the required 6 wickets at the other end. These tactics quickly proved fruitful for Windsor as Shaw played a rare rash shot and his skied drive was well held by Mohindru at long off. His 76 (out of the then total of 130) was a pleasure to watch and it will be no surprise to see him feature in first class and then international cricket in the future.
Following Shaw’s dismissal Windsor went in for the kill, the Wokingham number 6, after playing and missing a number of balls outside off stump bizarrely then decided to take an off stump guard to Nichols. This, as he was informed by the close in fielders, was perhaps not the best tactic to employ……. He was adjudged plump LBW the very next ball.
A smart stumping from Care gave Nichols his 4th wicket, Nichols then bowled the Wokingham 10 and 11 to give Windsor the maximum 25 points and finished with 6/34 off 12 very tidy overs.
Other results around the league were very kind to Windsor and they climbed back to the top of the table. Whilst the outstanding all-round performance from Nichols brought back memories from last decade when he dominated the league, the remainder of the squad will need to step up a level over the next 2 weeks as Windsor face Cookham Dean and then Marlow. These key clashes will have significant baring on the 2013 league outcome and the entire squad needs to be playing well if Windsor are to compete for the title.
Nichols 93 not out, Weston 87
Nichols-Weston 1st wkt partnership 176
Nichols 12/5/34/6, Malik 12/1/48/3
Care 3 catches, 1 stumping
Watching 13 y/o xxx, surely a future international for India….. or England?