Points Scoring System Flawed says Watkins
Relegation certainties Amersham inserted Windsor at Home Park on Saturday, then refused to chase a total as part of their damage limitation strategy. The administrators of the Thames Valley Cricket League must surely review the points system they have in place for the start of next season to try to put an end to the type of negative cricket played by the visiting club. The current points system rewards poor cricket, and this was no more clearly demonstrated that on Saturday in a mind numbing encounter that saw Amersham shut up shop with over 15 overs of cricket remaining. Cricket needs to attract youngsters to the game, and by rewarding sides for not being bowled out the administrators are doing the very opposite. The league needs to take action now.
As far as the cricket goes, Windsor got off to a sprightly start, with Bird in particular giving the young Amersham attack some frightful stick with a flurry of lavish drives and cuts. After a quickfire 27 he was given out to the first of a shocking 5 LBW decisions that nearly levelled out this otherwise one sided encounter. Davies left early, nicking one behind off the nagging Jones, before Chorley and Watkins looked to steady the ship. Both Windsor middle order men fell LBW in single figures, Watkins getting a thick edge on his, and Chorley too surprised to see the crooked finger after aiming a leg glance.
Mathews, a class act, picked up the scoring with Greene,and normal order was restored as Windsor went on to 100 off 20 overs. Greene was next to be given his marching orders, playing over a straight one after a useful 30. As Mathews tried one big wipe too many, it only brought the in-form Thompson and phlegmatic Huggins to the crease. These two then dished out the same sort of punishment they vetted out in the previous fixture, Thompson providing the straight bat, Huggins the flamboyant drives. The Amersham skipper was without options as Evans and Griffiths were pummelled to all parts of the ground. Huggins finished on 74, another fine knock from the Winsdsor bludgeoner. A flurry of wickets fell as Windsor chased the big total, and Spence in his final season at Home Park, managed a few lusty blows, leaving the total at 237 for 10 off 47 overs.
Despite having 53 overs to play with, Amersham were never really in the chase. Skipper Watkins opened up with spin kings Mohindru and the veteran Spence, and before long the visitors were 30 for 4 and looking down the barrel. Mohindru varied his pace and threw in the odd turner, bamboozling openers Griffiths and Gough. Spence threw up the moon ball and quickly beat Evans and Simons who both had their sights set on the mid wicket boundary. Unfortunately, the game then settled into something of a damp squib. As Amersham seemed intent on settling for the draw, Watkins threw pace man Huggins into the attack to try to blast out the middle order. Jones, easily Amershams’ best player soon chopped on for 50, but the success was short lived as Huggins’s extravagant lifestyle finally caught up with his performance. As Amersham found themselves 5 down with 30 overs to bat, the contest effectively died. They limped to 187-7 at the close, 80 or so runs fed to Amersham by Windsor skipper Watkins.
There was little Windsor could do to tempt Amersham into having a go at the total. They stonewalled the bowling on a flat deck, and that was effectively that. The rules now need to be changed. Surely a flat contest of 50 overs a side is the way forward for league cricket. Amersham took 9 points away from this game compared to Windsor’s 13 and this clearly highlights the inconsistency in the current scoring system. The points were split, but the clear looser was cricket in the Thames Valley League.