WINDSOR 280/8 (13 Points)
BURNHAM 212/7 (9 Points)
On the back of 20 points last week, Windsor travelled to Burnham expecting another tough encounter that seems to bely meetings between the 2 clubs.
With the weather alternating between glorious sunshine and cloudy overcast, Windsor won the toss and decided to have a bat.
Windsor where extremely lucky to have the services of former colt Michael Gould to open the batting, and what he shown was a masterclass on the discipline as he dissected all the offerings the hapless Burnham!
Gould flayed all bowling around the ground, and with Birch tormented the Burnham in-field with incisive running between the wickets as they posted the first 50 in 7 overs.
The 100 was up after 19 overs as Gould had soared to 70 and Birch provided sublime support. The spinners where introduced and both openers continued to plunder the attack and by drinks, Gould had his 100, out of a total of 150!
After the break Birch departed with his score on 43, and Chorley continued the great work, taking advantage of a fast outfield. In what was becoming a bowler friendly wicket, Burnham off spinner Bashir, started to bowl a lovely spell, ripping the ball square at times to slow the Windsor run rate.
Gould was finally removed in the 30th for 130, as Millman and Chorley began to grow the total to 200+
Chorley (33) fell after a real gutsy innings that helped bind the middle order together. Huggins came and went as Nichols who with Millman looked to push the total beyond Burnhams reach.
Some wonderful bowling from Burnham really halted the progress of Windsor as Millman (24) fell with Murray soon after, leaving Nichols and Malloch to close the innings.
Both Bats struggled to emulate the free flowing style exhibited by Gould, in the face of some useful bowling but managed to tick the score up to 270 before Nichols (15) was caught behind in the last over as Windsor after 52 settled for 280/8.
The innings was built around the magnificent Gould as he was supported by handy contributions from Birch, Chorley and Millman.
Windsor thought that considering how difficult conditions where in the last few overs, 48 overs would be enough to have a crack at 25 points. The old ball was taken as Windsor thought to make early inroads but Burnham had other ideas as opener Rehman went berserk hitting all bowling to all parts of the ground.
After 6 overs with the old rock, the new one was called as Rehman continued with the juggernaut hitting skipper Nichols for 16 runs off one over! It was Malloch at the other end, who done a superb job pushing into a strong breeze, who picked up the first wicket leaving Burnham on track at 1/70 after 17 overs…
With Rehamn sprinting to 50, spin was re-introduced as Mohindru kept the runs down and the pressure mounting. Malloch was then swapped around with Nichols, who came in off a short run into the wind, and had immediate success claiming Rehman caught Gould at point for 70.
The next 10 overs were vital for Windsor as they looked to keep the runs down so they could launch an all out assault later in the innings. Nichols claimed 2 more wickets to leave Burnham 4/170 after 30 overs, as both new batsmen looked uncomfortable but still ticked the runs over.
Mohindru at the other end bowled without luck and grouped quite a few maidens together, as Nichols probed with the ball swinging.
With 10 overs remaining and 100 runs required Windsor set ultra attacking fields, with men crowding the bat everywhere and youngster Harris had the chance to be a hero! He replaced the ever reliable Mohindru at one end as he tried to extract the same rip that Bashir did earlier for Burnham.
However it was the ridiculously under-rated leg spin of Nichols who claimed the first break through getting Khan caught at first slip by Gould to push Burnham 5 down with 7 overs remaining.
Windsor gave away the bonus points to Burnham for scoring 200, as they looked to chip away at the order. Harris who bowled well without reward was replaced by Gould who claimed the vital wicket of Bashir (51) caught and bowled.
Nichols then claimed his 5th wicket as Khan mis-read a topspinner to be given LBW but time had run out for Windsor as Burnham comfortably saw out the remaining time to finish at 212/7.
In the end a draw was a fair result, Windsor certainly had the better of the game, and the 13 points to 9 received reflect this, but Burnham did well to starve them out.
Had Windsor not been 2nd last and Burnham 3rd last (With 5 points between them), Windsor could have been able to declare earlier and attack a little earlier in the innings with the ball.
But seeing the table is so close and congested, at this time of the season, Windsor need to be very mindful of what points that can hand out to opposition sides. they have already made massive blunders against Beaconsfeild and Basingstoke gifting them 25 points, something they don’t want to do again.
Fingers crossed as the season progresses and Windsors table position improves, they will be able to play with a little more attacking flair that they would prefer. But at the moment it is ‘horses for courses’ attitude that needs to be fostered as they look to improve their standing.
Next week Windsor play host to local rivals Datchet. It will be a massive test for the home side as the 1st team is swamped with unavailability that they can really not afford against one of the best teams in the comp. Hopefully they can defy the odds and turn the tables as Datchet have certainly had the wood over the side in the past.