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Huggins ton goes in vain as NPL earn a draw

WINDSOR 2 242-4
(52) P.Huggins 148*

NPL TEDDINGTON 2 141-7
(48)

The frustration of the Thames Valley Points system and it’s reward for negative cricket once again came into play last weekend as 100 overs of cricket saw Paul Huggins score more runs than the entire NPL side and still not end up on the winning side. This became even more galling as skipper Chris Edge continued his losing streak at the toss as NPL decided to insert Windsor with the intention of chasing a total.

On a flat but slowish deck Windsor’s start was quite lethargic as Rob Noble took the lions share of the strike in the first ten overs and Windsor had managed just 24 in the first ten overs. However, with the shine taken off the new ball, the score began to move along with Huggins in particular beginning to get about the bowling and whilst is first fifty was far from chanceless, the longer he stayed the more accomplished his shots became and his batting partners became mere bit players as NPL began to wilt in the heat. As Huggins motored past the hundred mark Windsor were in the box seat and with just four wickets down Windsor had reached a probably par for the course 242 with Huggins batting through for a superb 148 not out.

Windsor were hoping to make early inroads to the NPL attack but they didn’t help themselves when a regulation chance at first slip was put down on the second ball of the innings and a further chance was spilled at 4th slip from the same opener, both off the bowling of Edge. However, the breakthough did come with Davis taking a superb one handed catch from Edge and Alex Hill bustling in against the wind had NPL captain Wooster trapped in front. After 8 overs NPL were in dire straights at 22-2. Trying to keep them interested in a run chase Edge was bowling with 5 slips and 2 gullys but still the NPL batsmen were uninterested in playing any shots. A complete change of tact saw 16 year old Leg Spinner Vignesh Venkatramen and the opening batsmen Rob Noble whose off-spin could at very best be labelled optimistic come into the attack and both had instant success. First Alex Hill pouched a catch at Mid Off from Noble and the same fielder snared another catch in cover to reduce NPL to 33-4. However, this seemed to signal the end of the game as a cricketing contest and the attritional element came into the game with NPL happy to block and with 30 overs still to go. Rotating the bowling to get the breakthough 7 bowlers were used with youngsters Woodward, Eggenhuizen together with old hat Charters all picking up wickets with overly attacking fields but as NPL limped along the return of Edge saw the 7th wicket fall with 6 overs to go but by that point the game had lost all chance of a result as NPL blocked out to the end to finish more than 100 runs behind Windsor’s total.

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