FARNHAM ROYAL 8/178
Nichols 5/60 (20 overs)
With similar weather as the previous weeks washout predicted by the BBC weather bureau all week, it was with pleasing surprise that the rain gods stayed away and Windsor could dust off the cobwebs to take on Farnham Royal.
With the heavy down pours during the week creating dampness in the wicket, the game was delayed for a few minutes. upon winning the toss Nichols decided to bat.
Windsor got off to a solid start scoring 50 off the first 15 overs for no loss, until Bird (29) tried to go big again, after hitting a 6 over point a couple of balls previous in the over to hole out to mid on. Chorley (8) was disspointed to follow a similar fate leaving Windsor 2/90 after 20 overs.
Youngster Nair steadied the ship as Birch taking advantage of a flattening wicket started to play his shots and Windsor took drinks at the 26th over 2/130.
After the break, Birch than decided he didnt really want to score a 100, and played a loose shot to end what should have been his 2nd 100 of the season.
Nichols (23) and Nair looked to consolidate and with 15 overs remaining had taking the score to 3/180. Nichols fell trying to push the rate bringing Malloch to the crease as he also played some shots to get the total past 200.
Bevan (27) was then bowled around his legs by Singh, who had 4 wickets by now, and Weston (21*)then strode to the wicket also pushing the run-rate along with ease.
Nair (43) fell in a quest for quick runs bringing Riches (17*)to the crease. The two closed the innings well with timley placement and good running. A score of 6/231 was pleasing for Windsor and they where confident of not only being able to defend it, but even claiming the 10 wickets need to win the match.
Things got off to a good start with Nichols claiming a wicket in his 1st over. At the other end though youngster Harris was very ginger, carrying an injury in the game, he was not at 100% fitness and it was evident.
A quick change around saw Mohindru start a spell and with Nichols they drilled into the Farnham Royal middle order. Nichols dismissed the dangerous Pitt and then both bowlers took another 3 each, leaving Farnham Royal on the brink at 8/50 after 16 overs. The game was theres for the taking.
Farnhams 9th wicket partnership was to be the highligh of the game though. Nichols rotated bowlers aorund, set ultra attacking feilds, then drew the feils back in the assumption that the last placed side would have a dig at the win, but it was not to be!
The 9th wicket was far to good for anything that Windsor could throw up, and they took the game to the 48th over where they held out Windsor attack to a tea, much to the celebrations of the home sides supporters. What everyone had witnessed was a spirited fight back from 2 gutsy players. If only Farnham had that kind of tenacity through out the season and through out their side, perhaps they would not be coming deadlast and staring down relegation in 2008. Singh should come in for special mention. not inly had the 16 year old taken 4 wickets with his skiddy left arm spin, he scored 62* ever important runs.
As much as Nichols used tactics to promote the batsmen to push for the win, their steely resolve would not repent as they went on their merry way merely accumulating, never really seeing the run chase as an option.
It was certainly frustrating for Windsor but they only had themselves to blame. there at least 5 difficult chances that if they had taken 1, would have brought in the 10th wicket. But they were not good enough and as such certainly did not deserve to win the game.
It they want to be a top 3 side, these chances MUST be taken.
Lady luck also was not interested in a Windsor win, as countless number of balls fell short, went through gaps and went over heads, to the extent, Windsor players just shrugged their shoulders and laughed near the end of the game… Put simply it was one of those days!
Windsor play host to Beaconsfield 2’s next week and are looking forward to a tough encounter. Beaconsfiled gave Windsor a cricketing lesson in the first round smashing them by 100 runs taking 25 points, so the home side has to play good cricket to make up for that and fingers crossed return the favour…