WINDOR 7/242 (52 OVERS) 15 POINTS
CHISWICK & LATYMER 9/201 (8 POINTS)
On the back of a terribly close encounter against competition front runners Maidenhead the week prior, Windsor travelled to Whitton Park to do battle with friendly rival Chiswick & Latymer.
Upon inspection of the wicket, players where bemused by the apparent lack of preparation of the wicket. The pitch that was covered was as green as the out field and both skippers decided that if play was going to be safe, at least another hour of rolling was crucial.
The conditions made winning the toss all the more important, but the coin fell awkward for Nichols and Windsor were rightly sent in on the greenish deck many had seen!
Bird and Birch obviously struggled on the terrible surface early on. Some impressive bowling, especially from Khan, who bowled with reasonable pace, was getting alot out of the pitch. It all became too much when Bird (6) received an unplayable delivery spitting on a length the surface to be caught off Khan to leave Windsor 1/12.
Chorley and Birch look to push the score towards 50, before Chorley (25) received another corker rearing off a length, courtesy from the gremlins on the pitch to be caught behind. Nair played a few shots until he succumb to leg cutter from Singh to be caught at 2nd slip. Then Birch (27) got an edge that flew to 2nd Slip off Khan and Weston was trapped in fron LBW to leave Windsor perilously close to oblivion at 5/88.
From here Nichols and Riches looked to slowly advance to 100. As Khan grew tired after bowling 13 straight, Windsor went to drinks 5/97. The partnership moved to 130 in slow time amid some spirited efforts from the Chiswick attack.
But the game reached a turning point in the 35th over. Nichols was dropped 2 twice in as many balls and decided to chance his arm against a tiring Khan and flattening wicket. he proceeded to hit him for 3 sixes in a row, to take 22 off the over, and from here Windsor took the imitative!
Riches grew in confidence who along with Nichols started to belt the Chiswick attack all around the park. the ultra attacking fields set by Chiswick where replaced with fielders on the boundaries and Windsor took singles as will and pushed the score to 190 in the 43rd before Nichols (67) was caught on the 3rd man boundary.
The skipper could not have got out at a better time as Malloch then picked up where he left off and along with Riches pushed the total to 200. While trying to squeeze as many runs out of the remaining overs as possible, Riches (42) was run out, bringing Gregory to the crease. his first 2 scoring shots where 6 and 4 as Windsor finished 7/242 after 52 with Malloch (27*) and Gregory (17*).
With the new ball taken, Chiwick got off to a fine start with Van den Burg hitting some crisp strokes, ably supported by the enigmatic Davis. With Gregory bowling tight at the other end, Nichols introduced Malloch to replace himself with the wind and the change proved correct as Bevan removed Davis plumb LBW.
At 1/32 the game was pretty much up for the taking but a sublime period of 6 overs killed any chance Chiswick had of winning the game. Nair managed to run out the dangerous Singh, Khan was caught for a golden duck to Gregory to a great snare at short leg by Chorley, and Malloch had van den Burg caught at cover by Birch to leave Chiswick 4/42 after 16 overs.
Having been in a similar position in the 1st round of games against Chiswick, Windsor knew the game was far from won. San Jose and Wrigglesworth looked to steady the ship, until a brilliant caught and bowled from Harris removed San Jose.
One over from drinks Chiswick skipper Scott was caught off Mohindru at deep long on by Gregory to leave Windsor well on top, having Chiswick 6/97.
After the break, Fell and Wrigglesworth kept the score ticking in a quest to gain bonus points. Windsor kept attacking with men around the bat, and this paid dividends when Harris picked up his 2nd wicket, that of Wrigglesworth caught at short gully by Malloch.
With the pitch unresponsive to spin and seam, Windsor looked to wait for mistakes from the Chiswick lower order. Harris and Mohindru played away with little lick as Chiswick moved to 7/180 with 5 overs to go.
Nichols then introduced himself and immediately removed Fell LBW. Next over Harris claimed the games 9th wicket leaving 3 overs and number 10 and 11 at the crease!
Unfortunately from Windsor it was not to be, as the Chiswick side not only starved off an all out assault from Windsor to claim that crucial 10th scalp, but also did enough to secure a bonus point, moving the score to 9/201 after 48 overs.
It was a fine effort form Windsor in hindsight. They had the worse of the condition by a long way and still managed to have the opposition 9 down in reply after scoring 242. With the bat it was pleasing to see Riches get his first score in the 1st XI, and to see Birch grind out a crucial 28, saving his middle order from taking on those difficult first 20 overs. This allowed Nichols and Malloch to combine and push a terrific total that in reality, Chiswick where never going to get after losing early wickets.
Once again, Harris and Mohindru bowled very well with Malloch and Gregory doing everything right with the new ball.
Next week sees Windsor play host to Basingstoke & Northants. It will be an exciting game as Windsor is extremely keen to avenge their defeat earlier in the season. Basingstoke are a very good cricket side and the home team will have to play very well to leap frog them into 4th place on the ladder.