WINDSOR 215/5 (25 POINTS)
FINCHAMPSTEAD 152 all out (5 POINTS)
Mohindru 4/13 (including a hat-trick)
On the back of a dour but gritty draw the week previous, Windsor travelled to Finchampstead hoping to secure more points to help them in their quest to secure 3rd spot on the league table.
Windsor made some minor adjustments to their side with wicketkeeper batsmen Chris George slotting in and all-rounder Richard Gregory strengthening a batting line up that in previous weeks had failed to capitalise on getting starts.
Windsor bucked the trend of recent visits at the ground and decided to bat first. Finch where obviously not to worried about this and set about knocking over Birch (0) in the second over of the match.
Finch’s openers bowled a consistent spell on a hard wicket that early on seamed around prolifically. Cowan in particular proved his usefulness having Chorley caught off a no-ball and beating the batsmens outside edge countless times.
Chorley (3) succumb to Jubb meaning that Nichols and Riches where left to consolidate the innings. Amid some consistent bowling on a sporting pitch, both bats found their feet and slowly began rebuilding the innings. At drinks, the partnership had reached 70 and Windsor where 2/86.
Just as Riches (25)was coming to terms with the conditions, he was bowling trying to pull. Windsor then lost Nichols (38) caught at fine leg on the pull soon after. Weston and Lines where left to push the total upwards of 100 and done so in style as the pitch flattened out amid the hot conditions, much to the batsmens delight.
With the score on 4/150 Lines (22) popped a disappointing return catch to Whiteman. From here Weston and new batsmen Malloch paced the innings to perfection. they took all the singles on offer hit the odd boundary in an absolute masterclass of end of innings batting.
Weston brought up his 50 with a 6 over mid on and in the last few overs, Windsor past the magical 200 mark. At the end of 52 overs Windsor had struck 5/215 with Weston unbeaten on 71 and Malloch a fine 31*
Finch’s batting started very well. Some inconsistent bowling allowed Finch to get off to a flier. With Brogan seaming having a magnet on his pads balls flew to the boundary and after 7 overs the 50 was up!
Windsor were probably thinking this was going to be a short stay in the field and where relieved when Malloch got the breakthrough claiming Ward caught at cover by Lines for 17.
Nichols then introduced himself and proved a week is a long time in cricket by cartwheeling new batsmen’s and previous weeks century maker Bell’s off stump for a duck. An over later after Brogan brought up his 50, Nichols cartwheeled his off stump and Windsor looked back in the game pushing Finch to 3/80.
The partnership of Loveday and Brown was going to be crucial for both sides. Young off-spinner Ben Harris was introduced and tied the two veterans up superbly while Nichols probed away at the other end, in the middle of a quick spell.
It was the skipper who got the prized wicket of Loveday with a false shot catching the edge and landing sweetly in the awaiting gloves of George who had flown across 1st slip to take the chance! The celebration was worthy of centre stage in West-End, a sign of the respect for the Finch stalwart and his ability, as Windsor could see the the chance to go through the home side.
The ‘Ice Man’ Mohindru was introduced to replace Harris, and the skipper could not have dreamed for a better result. Birch took a terrific catch at deep square to claim Ansell and Malloch took a fine catch diving at fly slip to claim Cowies scalp. Two wickets in two balls! Nichols then began his over and destroyed the castle of Whiteman, to which Mohindru, 1st ball of the next over completed a hat-trick with Smith out caught by Birch again, to a magnificent diving catch.
The tail for Finch could not resist the Windsor attack as Monhindru got his 4th wicket with George stumping Alexander, and Nichols wrapped up the innings claiming his 5th wicket bowling his 4th victim Jubb, to gain a well deserved 25 Point win…
The best part of the day for Windsor was the massive improvement to the way they batted. Nichols and Riches where key to stabilizing the innings after some great bowling from Cowie, taking the score close to 100. but Weston was the star, who with Malloch turned a meek beginning into an extremely profitable 215.
The work and effort in the field was sublime from Windsor with the likes of Birch, Lines throwing there bodies around and helping to apply pressure. The performance of Nichols and Mohindru is directly attributed to their attitude in the field, with out them it would have been a lot harder.
With a higher standing up the ladder still on offer Windsor will be looking to finish the season in style against local rivals Burnham. It will be the last time in a while that Windsor get to play them, so here’s hoping we can make the most of it!