Cricketing Gods not smiling on Windsor
Windsor 227-4 (dec) T. Smith 52
High Wycombe 212 W. Spence 7-70
Windsor 2nd XI were left ultimately disappointed in their final league game of the season despite a maximum point win against High Wycombe as similar victories for the top two sides OMT and Bracknell denied them promotion from division 4b.
Knowing they had to go for the full compliment of 25 points, Windsor batted first and a superb opening stand from Richard Noble and Abudul Ashraf which saw Windsor to 80-0 from 20 overs meant that a competitive score could be set. The fall of both openers however brought the big hitting duo of Tim Smith and Mark Huggins to the crease and both hit towering sixes over long on to move the score along quickly. Runs were coming quickly in the baking sun and although Huggins was out for 32, Smith continued the onslaught completing a deserved half century before attempting one hit too many and being bowled. However, Windsor now knew they could post a reasonable total and leave themselves enough overs to bowl High Wycombe out. Stuart Millman and Rob Dawson did a superb job and after just 45 overs Windsor were able to declare on 227 leaving them 55 overs to bowl at High Wycombe.
The opening bowlers of Mark Huggins and Oliver Birch both initially failed to find a breakthrough with Huggins in particular expensive as High Wycombe charged at the total. Indeed at 65-0 after 15 overs, it seemed Windsor’s season would end, with somewhat of a damp squib. However a double bowling change saw Windsor’s fortunes revitalised with the ‘Wayne Spence Show’ dominating with a bit part from Chris Edge. Spence took a wicket in his first over and after he and Edge had bowled 8 overs High Wycombe were reeling at 105-5. Spence continued to cause High Wycombe problems with his spin, and the turning point came when High Wycombes dangerous captain Keith Patten was drawn into a heave to long on that was well judged by Oliver Birch and Windsor knew the game was there for the taking. However with High Wycombe now 130-8, the 8th wicket pair began to cause Windsor some problems as they began to get after Spence and move the total along. Searching for the breakthrough Alex Hill was given a spell before Mark Huggins was recalled. Both failed to make any inroads and at 195-8, with 10 overs to go High Wycombe were back in the game. However, a superb chance taken one handed at slip by Mark Huggins to give Spence his 7th wicket got Windsor to within one wicket of victory. This eventually came after some agricultural shots from Wycombes number 11 had got them past 200 but when Abdul Ashraf remained the calmest player on the pitch taking a steepler at mid on of Chris Edge, Windsor had won, but the outcome of the season was up in the air.
Leaving the pitch, the news had already come through of OMT’s win, so Windsor were reliant on neighbours Slough holding out against Bracknell. Slough captain Mark Shepard had relayed the news that his side were nine down with four overs to hold out. However, it was not to be as with 9 balls remaining, the final Slough wicket fell and thus resigned Windsor to another season in 4b.