Maidenhead & Bray 235-6 (J Alam 118)
Windsor 236-3 (R Charters 92*, S Ward 53)
A superb unbeaten knock of 92 by Richard Charters alongside other valuable contributions from the Windsor batsmen saw Windsor 3rd XI chase down an unlikely 236 for victory in this table-topping clash under grey clouds at Home Park.
Starting the day 10 points behind leaders Maidenhead & Bray it was important Windsor put in a good performance. The day didn’t start too brightly when the M&B skipper won the toss and chose to bat but the Windsor openers bowled very tight lines and restricted the scoring as M&B only scored around 2 an over for the first 15 overs as well as getting the early wicket of Malhotra caught at gully. However the other M&B opener Alam soon got into his stride and, aided by poor fielding as he offered three catches which all went down, brought up his 50 with the score on only 56. The M&B No.3 spent a long time on 0 and after surviving a very strong appeal for a caught behind without scoring, also started to see the ball very well and hit a flurry of boundaries as the two batsmen built a good strong base to the innings, taking M&B past the 100 mark without further loss before he was out one run short of his half century. However at the other end J Alam showed no signs of letting up as he continued his free scoring on the way to a very impressive century, eventually falling for 118 as Windsor picked up a few late wickets courtesy of Andy Wigley and a tight late comeback by Dean Bean which helped slow M&B’s scoring rate towards the end of the innings as they finished on 235-6 off their 52 overs, having looked set for a score in excess of 260 at one point.
It was imperative that Windsor started their reply brightly and Kevin Condon (30) set the tone for the innings with some stylish shots in an opening partnership of 70 with Steve Ward who himself hit some fine boundaries after a slow start. Windsor were around 90-1 at the halfway mark still needing a further 146 to win with only 24 overs remaining. Losing 2 quick wickets soon after the drinks break including Ward for a fine 53 was a real setback to Windsor as the run rate required escalated to over 8 an over at one stage. However George Gould joined Richard Charters at the crease and provided a great foil for the big-hitting Charters. Their partnership picked up the pace just when Windsor needed it most and Charters hit a couple of big sixes in a 5-over spell which brought 47 runs and lowered the required rate and from then on they never looked back as Gould also hit some impressive boundaries and despite a nerve-wracking final few overs Richard Charters fittingly sealed the win off the penultimate ball to give Windsor a thoroughly merited victory to close the gap at the top of the table to just one point going into the next round of matches.