MAINDENHEAD & BRAY 205
Ben Harris 6/87
Rahul Mohindru 4/48
Competition leaders Maidenhead & Bray came to Windsor expecting a straight forward victory against the home side. The visitors spent alot of time surveying a wicket prior to the commencement of the match, but with Nichols winning the toss he decided to bat first.
Windsor got off to a flyer scoring 20 runs off the first 2 overs with Birch seemingly hitting everything served up to him to the boundary, as Bird continued in a similar vain. Maids made the break through though with the score on 35 as Evan got one through the gate of Birch (18). Bird (14) followed soon after to a peach of a delivery from Coyne to be bowled and leaving Windsor in a precarious state of 2/38.
Chorley and Nair rebuilt the innings, with Nair playing some lovely drives and Chorley proving able support. The pair were moving to total well onto 100 when just after the drinks break, the dangerous Valambhia deceived Chorley (26) with a slower ball to be bowled.
The probing off-spin of Bashir was introduced and Nair (36) succumb, playing back to be correctly adjudged LBW. Lines and Weston than had to start again and with the score moving to 140, Lines (22) nicked on to 1st slip off Valambhia to leave Windsor 5/140 in the 32nd over.
Just prior to the 2nd drinks break, Weston (8) popped one back to Valmbhia which he ably took and Windsor went in drinks at 6/140, with the game in the balance.
The visitors got very cocky at this stage with alot of chat suggesting that the game was already won! Malloch and Nichols fed off their oppositions arrogance as they slowly winded through the overs against fine bowling from Bashir and Valambhia.
Once the target of 45 overs was achieved the partnership let lose! It was extremely satisfying to see the visitors argue amongst themselves as the two ran quick singles creating mis-fields, were gifted over throws and generally put the side under pressure. when only 10 overs previous they where saying the game was won!!!
Nichols (28) targeted Valambhia for some boundaries but perished to Bashir in the 47th over. Lloyd came and went to Bashirs off-spin, but it was Mohindru who with the ridiculously dependable Malloch (30 no) who got the score to 205 in the 52 over.
It was a frustrating performance as everyone in the top 8 got a start without anyone really going on with it. In saying that Bashir and Valambhia bowled extremely well, and it could be argued that 205 was a good score against them.
The old ball was taken on a wicket that was turning like a top, and Harris in his 1st over had Khan out bowled leaving one that pitched a good foot outside off-stump. With that ball the 17 year old had all the Maidenhead players take notice, if they where going to get 205, they had better bat very well!
Kennedy played some solid pulls off Harris to keep the score board ticking whilst Mohindru at the other end was his metronomic self, then the 3 big wickets came and turned the game on its head. Harris had Kennedy caught at mid -on by Lines. A few overs later the youngster dealt a double blow trapping the dangerous Bashir LBW to one that spun back sharply, and two balls later Van Niekirk missed a full toss that hit him in line to follow the same fate of Bashir to leave Maidenhead 4/41.
From here new batsmen Kumar and Choudhary began a long climb back. they put away the bad balls and keep the score ticking in the midst of ultra attacking field settings and put on a partnership of 100. Then Mohindru got his first wicket of the day claiming the impressive Choudhary (77) caught Weston at shortleg, and Windsor could sense a chance.
The new ball was taken and Malloch introduced, but with the pitch being a spinners paradise he struggled to penetrate. Monhindru removed Hewitt who holed out to Harris at mid-off then Harris was re-introduced after a short rest and instantly got reward, claiming Riaz caught behind to bring up his 5th wicket.
From here Windsor put the fear of failure in front of Maidenheads inexperienced lower order, who at 7/197 could easily win the game, and should have been favourites from that position. But pressure can do funny things to players, as Nichols brought the field in around the new batsmen.
The task proved to great for skipper Coyne who flayed at a length ball from Mohindru to duly have the number 9 out bowled. Windsor where bemused by the dismissal of Valambhia who suffered an identical fate with the score on 9/201. Maidenhead where choking!
Maidenhead got to 205 and fittingly it was down to the two youngest players on the field in Kumar and Harris to decide the result. Fortunately for Windsor, Harris came out on top as he had Kumar (47) caught and bowled off his first ball of the over, to end a great knock form the youngster and spoil Maidenheads day!
Although the tie was entertaining and considering where Windsor were placed for a short time a good result, the lads where a little disappointing to only get the 15 points. Windsor had their chances in the field to wrap up the game but did not take them and against a side like Maidenhead, who are fittingly on top of the table, Windsor need to take them to get the results.
A tie in the end was a fair result, but 25 points would have been a lot more sweeter.
Ben Harris was the star for Windsor as the 17 year old took 6/87 through prodigious turn that baffled the batsmen. Mohindru was his impressive self plying away at the other end asking the batsmen plenty of questions.
This game halts a fine few weeks for Windsor where they took 65 points from the top 3 teams on the table. They are really looking to progress from here, as confidence is sky and they know if they play well they can beat any side in the competition.