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Chris Dixon reports:

Windsor 1s travelled to West Berkshire to take on Sulhamstead & Ufton in a top of the table clash where the victor would end the day top of the league.

Windsor won the toss and elected to bat on a slow pitch with uneven bounce. Dave Wilmott, making his 1st team debut, joined Chris Dixon at the top of the order. They got off to a steady start with Windsor reaching 30-0 off the first 10, before both fell in quick succession without adding to the scoreboard.

This brought Sam Jordan and Vishal Nair to to the crease, with the former knowing he’d have to rein in his natural game on a pitch that could not be less conducive to his illustrious see ball, smash ball approach.

Moment of the day came early on in his innings as he flicked a ball down to fine leg and set off for what should’ve been an easy single whilst the umpire shouted “NO BALL.” Now, Jordan is not renowned for being keen on running many twos, especially when he’s hit it straight to the fielder. However, the thought of being on-strike for a free-hit temporarily took precedence over any remaining cricketing common sense in his brain as he turned for two in a self-inflicted suicide mission. A bemused Nair obliged, with the ball by now already on its way in from the boundary.

Somehow, Jordan made his ground as the keeper wasn’t able to gather and remove the bails cleanly enough, and Jordan’s mission had been accomplished. An achievement so worthy, that the umpire gave his own personalised distinctive “free-hit signal.” Having seen a free-hit questionably signified as a powerplay earlier on in the season, this umpire went about it with a signal much akin to a royal wave. Another humorous umpiring signal, although one reckons the umpire was giving Jordan the regal recognition he deserved for somehow managing to make his ground.

Several batsmen came in and got starts but struggled to press on as Windsor trickled along at around 3 an over for the first 30 overs, further highlighting it was a surface far from ideal for flamboyant stroke-making, compounded by a slow outfield. Jordan remained however and reached a well played fifty, his third of the season, before falling again soon after for 51.

Despite Windsor’s slow run rate, they had wickets in hand and this enabled them to go hell for leather at the back end of the innings, ending on 173-7 off their allotted 40 overs, a very competitive total given the conditions.

Kai Ziemkendorf and Charlie Jackson once again took the new ball and the opening batsmen got off to a comparatively quick start with some early boundaries in the first few overs. However, Ziemkendorf and Jackson pegged it back with a wicket apiece to slow the rate.

Ollie Jordan and Ryan Lewin joined the attack and both bowled extremely economical spells with Jordan being the pick of the bowlers taking 2-14 off his 8 overs at an economy of just 1.75 and was unlucky to have not picked up more wickets. Lewin also finished with 2 wickets, himself only going at a fraction above 2 an over.

Despite the relatively low total on the board, this left them well behind the rate. Mark Lines and Chris Dixon came into the attack and continued to keep things tight with economies of 4 and 2.75 respectively and a wicket for Dixon.

Ziemkendorf was brought back into the attack and finished things off quickly with the final two wickets to end with 3-29, with Sulhamstead and Ufton being bowled out for a paltry 108.

Windsor won by 65 runs which sees them go to the top of the league with three games to play. A visit from 8th placed White Waltham awaits this Saturday at Home Park, 12:30 start.

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