WINDSOR 147 all out (7 POINTS)
BURNHAM 183 all out (25 POINTS)
Amid terrible conditions that were on par with a terrible August, Windsor played host to friendly local rivals Burnham. the game in itself was a ‘dead rubber’ with Burnham already consigned to demotion into Division 3 for 2009, and Windsor playing for 3rd spot.
In reality the conditions where awful, and if the game was not a dead rubber, play would not of been attempted, but with nothing to loss. and the fact that a match abandonment would be a empty way to finish the season, both skipper decided to their credit to play anyway, knowing that the winner of the toss would almost certainly win the game!
In a total reversal, Windsor having lost only 4 tosses all season lost the toss! Burnham who had only won 3 tosses in 2008 has no hesitation to take advantage of a wet pudding of a track to bat.
Burnhams openers took a liking to the turgid conditions where bowlers got no value for bending their back with the new ball. They got off to a flier scoring 50 runs off the first 7 overs! Gregory finally got a breakthrough with skipper Nichols holding onto one at cover to have Burnham at 1/70 off 11.
Gregory (4/49) bowled an inspired spell, in hardly bowling friendly conditions to take the next 3 wickets LBW and caught behind and with Nichols claiming the danger man Rehman (47) to a juggling act by Riches at gully, Windsor looked in really good shape at 5/110.
From here Burnham really dug in and Bashir in particular took a distinct liking to Mohindru as he proceeded to hit 12 off one over. Burnham looked to really be heading for a total of 200+ until Malloch got the breakthrough with Nichols diving forward at 1st slip to remove Bashir and hopefully stemming the flow of runs.
It was not to be, as skipper Asif starting pinching boundaries that kept the score board ticking. Nichols (2/48) managed to claim one more wicket and Malloch (3/58) another 2, and Burnham where bowled out in the 45th over for 186.
It was a mixed result for the homeside. Windsor were very guilty complacency at times in the field with the hard conditions making life tough for the seamers, it was all the advantage the visitors needed to get 150+
With the pitch now looking like a battle field with divots everywhere from the ball having dried up, Windsor had to bat very well to be any chance of claiming a 20 point win.
Burnhams skipper Asif applied the very same formula that his opposing skipper wanted to do if he won the toss by taking the old ball and opening with spin. It had the desired affect as Chorley fell in the 5th over to a mis-timed drive with Windsor 1/7
Nichols then joined Birch who played a majestic innings hitting the bowling to all parts as he swash buckled his way to a good score. With Nichols merely rotating strike to an inform Birch, the partnership reached 50 in no time. Birch than brought up his 50 with a trademark swipe through cover.
The ginger headed caviller watched at the other end as the pitch began to play its first tricks as Nichols (15) was adjudged LBW to one that rolled off a divot to make Windsor in the box seat at 2/79. Nair (0) than was caught at midwicket off a ball that this time held up, the same fate as Weston (0) who mirrored the same dismissal. Both bats were extremely unhappy with themselves as playing across the line so early on on a deck like that was always going to end poorly!
Riches (11) than cracked a few shots around until he was caught behind and Birch who was seemingly on course for a well deserved 100 was bowled leaving Windsor at 6/119.
Malloch like he has done all season steadied the ship well, playing the testing conditions with ease. George (0) marked his first bat in the 1st team with golden duck hitting the ball right back to Asif.
Gregory (14) who along with Mohindru (13) hit same lovel boundaries to get the score close 150 and 8 points that would confirm 4th spot but both fell with the score short on 142. Malloch then was clean bowled by the talented Bashir to give the demoted side something to cheer about claiming their 1st 25 point win of the season! Much to their celebration…
Windsor however where very poor with the bat. too many false shots suggested they where not up to the challenge and with conditions against them, the end of the season nigh and not really much to play for, it was just the tonic they needed to give in and award Burnham a well deserved win.
It was a bitter way to end the season, but all in all a good one for Windsor. At the half way mark they where placed dead in the relegation zone and on the back of some superb wins against Datchet & Marlow, managed to build confidence and turn in a great purple patch of form that helped turn it all around.
Players like Nair, Harris, Line and Riches all took their chances and the fact they are all under 20 proves that the plans at seasons beginning to blood the youngsters was the right one.
With lads like Hartridge, Kellard, Chana and Malik also under 21 and proving to be star performers in the 2nd XI the future looks very bright indeed.
In the next few season these are the lads who need to step up, as its their shoulders the clubs advancement will be based upon. They will join the established players like Birch, Mohindru, Bird, Nichols and Malloch who form the nucleus of the side now to try and advance this 1st team to bigger and better things.
Next week sees a hybrid side of these youngsters taking on Braywood in the East Berks Twenty/20 Final at Braywood. Having won the league, they are very keen to claim the trophy and the club would appreciate all supporters turning out to get behind them so they can finished 2008 in style. Fingers crossed we can have something to celebrate at the Windsor CC Ball next Saturday night!