Like Lambs to the slaughter…..
OMT 1st XI (271-5 off 50 – Lamb 128*)
Windsor 2nd XI (154 all out- Noble 52)
Windsor went into battle today much better prepared than last week. No lateness, no traveling, no hangovers, and fully up for taking 20 or 25 points from OMT. On a cloudy but bright morning with a wicket that looked like it would flatten out later in the day, Hill, back from Stag duties, won the toss and decided to bowl. The batting performance last week gave Hill reservations about being able to post a defendable total. Windsor had a strong bowling attack and wanted to restrict and chase, the ploy that worked so well in the promotion season!
The game started well with Hill and S Condon missing the outside edges of both openers countless times. The field had been set with a very attacking format early on with 4 slips and a gully to the swing of Condon. Unfortunately bats were being swung with reckless abandon and runs were being gained quickly. But OMT were also very strong at running quick singles, and gave Windsor a lesson in rotating the strike. Lamb was dropped on 25 and went on to score a mammoth total. How Windsor needed that catch to stick! OMT pressed on and made use of the long boundary (by running a min of 3 every time) and the short one (by not having to run at all!). With the ball still shiny Hill turned to youth Holmes to bring some extra spice to the attack, and he obliged by showing us the pace he has gained in his action this season. Unfortunately Holmes couldn’t make the break through. Edge replaced the miserly Condon at the castle end, and bowled tightly aswell. OMT made use of the attacking field and the loose balls from each end and pressed on, each new batsman making his mark straight away and batting positively. Windsor utilised Kellard and Alam’s spin to try and reduce the runs in the latter stages and Hill came back on at the death. In the end Lamb made a very impressive 128* and Windsor were facing a chase of over 250, with OMT declaring after using only 50 overs, to tempt Windsor into the chase.….
Windsor went out to bat in a confident manner, believing the flat track would give aid to the run chase and not offer too much to the bowlers. Windsor opened again with an unchanged pair of Noble and Patel. Both looked very good early doors with Noble hitting some crunching drives and moving the score along and an unusually quick pace. Patel also played some shots but was adjudged to have been caught behind on the leg side by the keeper, this was the start of the end for Windsor. Noble soldiered on though and made a well deserved 52, and had provided a platform for others to build on. Huggins and Weston both got starts but were unable to convert. Alam played some of his characteristic unconventional shots for runs, but played much more orthodox shots while defending. Hill threw his wicket away, by trying to hit the tempting slow bowling of Richards. In total six of the Windsor batsmen succumbed to Richards deceptive deliveries. A typical Windsor ‘calypso collapso’ soon ensued with the tail losing their 5 wickets for a total of 25 runs. S Condon, who had to have a runner after pulling his hamstring in the nets, worked hard with Kellard at the end to get Windsor to the 150 mark to gain the extra point.
Learning’s from this defeat? With the bowling attack, we should still set attacking fields, but not be afraid to drop fielders if the batsman are going to bring out the long handle early on. But we are still bowling 2 rank balls an over on average…….. But batting is the key to Windsor staying in Div 3 this year. The batsman need to show a resilience missing so far, by batting selfishly and refusing to give their wicket away. This needs to be balanced with punishing the bad ball, but Windsor need to become the machine that they were 2 years ago if they are to survive. Windsor face bottom of the league N. Maidenhead this weekend, in a crucial must win game……