Better bowling, poorer batting.
Slough 197 all out (Khan 39) (Kellard 4 – 52)
Windsor 150 for 7 (Noble 65) (Farooq 5 – 36)
Trying to put last weeks defeat firmly behind them, a re-jigged 2nd team, with more of emphasis on bowling attack went to their local rivals Slough this weekend to try and gain their first win of the season. Slough, whose first game was a wash out, was also keen to get their season underway. Hill lost the toss, again, and was then surprised by the fact the Slough skipper had to go off to ask his teammates what he wanted to do. The decision finally came back that they wanted to bat. Windsor were going to bowl anyway, so this suited Windsor perfectly.
Hill opened with the young Kiwi under 15 Thompson at the other end. Slough always likes to get after the bowling straight away, and hit out at Hill’s looser deliveries from the word go. Thompson on the other hand maturely bowled clean and tight lines, making the Slough openers think he was a much older player. Thompson could only bowl 5 over spells and so to make the breakthrough the returning Edge was brought on, and the young Holmes into the attack. After only a few overs both Edge and Holmes removed the opening pair. Kahn at number 3 looked to get after the Windsor bowlers quickly and was supported well by Ghazi. The boundaries at Upton Park are huge and many 3’s were run in the chase for the ball! Windsor again fielded tightly but a few mistakes gave Slough some valuable boundaries. Kellard came in to replace Holmes to try and slow things up a little with his controlled spin. Baber, coming up to fill the gloves in the 2nds did well by taking 2 caught behinds off Edge and Thompson and a stumping of Kellard. Slough’s 5th, 6th and 7th wicket fell in the space of 11 runs and Windsor were looking to turn the screw. Slough’s entire batting line-up contributed to the runs scored, all the way down the order. Some determined batting, and the deck flattening out got Slough up into the 190’s. Kellard and Thompson, bowling with maturity beyond their years, finished off the Slough batting, with Kellard ending with a 4-wicket haul! The decision to bring another bowler into the attack paid off as Windsor bowled Slough out for under the 200 mark, and gained 2 extra overs for the chase.
Windsor in reply looked to opening pair Noble and Patel to start the run chase. Both looked settled against the tight Slough openers, yet resulted in the first 5 overs being maidens! Windsor needed a sensible run chase, as the batting was slightly light. Noble took some time to get into a rhythm, but started to open up with some fantastic cover drives, that couldn’t reach the huge boundaries. Patel was unfortunately judged to have been LBW with a claim for an inside edge onto his pads. Noble battled on confidently, but none of the Windsor recognised batsman were able to partner him at the other end. Chasing low totals is all about building partnerships, and then supporting the in-form batsman. Farooq bowled very tightly and did the most of the damage to the top order. Huggins, Bullock and Condon all got small starts but didn’t capitalise. Baber went in and started to play the seamers well. The run chase was still within reach but Windsor didn’t have enough attacking players left in reserve to go hell for leather. Slough noticed this and pulled the field in very tight and restricted the singles. When Baber fell in the 32nd over Hill went to the crease with the aim to give Noble support. Slough never loosened their grip and the run rate had got to over 8 an over in the last 12. Noble wanting to push on played some nice drives, with some singles coming from the other end. When Noble was caught, the decision was made not to give Slough any more points, and not to give them a win. Edge and Hill confidently batted through the rapidly changing bowling attack of Slough (every over) and saw Windsor home to the 150 for an extra point and no extra points for Slough.
All in all a half-decent performance. Bowling was good and tight, and fielding was good. Windsor takes on Amersham who are top of the table this weekend at Home Park. Due to good availabilities this week, another batsman is needed to strengthen the team, and give Windsor the ability to confidently set or chase a total down. Windsor are looking to take their first win of the season.