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Windsor 1st XI played away at Royal Ascot in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday 5 th September. Royal Ascot’s ground, with the racecourse right next door, was a beautiful setting for the game. Ryan Lewin was immediately baffled by the angle and size of the miniature scoreboard, and spent a while staring at it and wondering aloud how the players could possibly see it. Like any pantomime dame, he had only to look behind him; he was oblivious to the enormous scoreboard he was standing in front of, much to everyone’s amusement. One feels for the children whom he teaches.

The warm-up went far better than the previous week; Dean Allen-Turner was taken off hitting duties and the entire bteam made it through unscathed.

Windsor won the toss and chose to bat. Openers Chris Dixon and Allen-Turner began well, with Dixon hitting several boundaries off the back foot as Windsor reached 48-0. Dixon was a touch fortunate to survive a couple of tough chances but was unlucky to be trapped in front for 28 by a delivery which kept very low.

Allen-Turner, after taking out Dave Willmott the previous week, managed only to injure himself this time. Aggravating an Achilles injury, Dean battled on heroically to grind out as many runs as he could for the team. Batting on one leg, he became more aggressive and struck a few boundaries as Windsor moved to 70-1, before Sam Jordan was caught at in the slips for 10.

Austin Ambrose struck a couple of boundaries before playing a delivery from legspinner Jayasingh onto his stumps. Ryan Lewin was caught at slip soon after off the same bowler, and he was probably wishing he still didn’t know where the scoreboard was as he trudged off. When Allen-Turner’s heroic resistance was ended on 39 by Harry Watson, Windsor had fallen to 98-5.

Tom Lilburn and Ollie Jordan rebuilt for a while before the former was caught behind off the bowling of Watson. Captain Mark Lines came to the crease and immediately went on the attack. Jordan was a little unfortunate to be caught down the legside off Andrew Murray, leaving Windsor 148-7, but Lines struck the ball cleanly and continued to attack, scoring the lion’s share of the runs in a stand of 52 with Kai Ziemkendorf. Lines was caught on the boundary in the final over for 47 off just 38 balls, before Charlie Jackson hit a straight six to lift Windsor to 210-8.

Windsor started erratically with the ball, donating a lot of runs to Royal Ascot through wides. Kai Ziemkendorf bowled opener Harry Watson for a duck, but Ascot got off to a fast start, scoring at more than six an over for the first ten overs. Opener Jayasingh and Gareth Baker punished some wayward deliveries as Ascot moved to 72-1, although Jayasingh was perhaps fortunate to survive a

strong appeal for caught behind off Ziemkendorf. Two quick wickets brought Windsor back into the game, as Ollie Jordan had Baker caught behind and Mark Lines bowled Jayasingh. The combination of Lines and Jordan stifled the scoring rate, and at the halfway point of the innings the match was tantalisingly poised with Ascot 100-3.

Windsor had a poor spell with the ball and in the field, bowling some poor deliveries and dropping catches as Andrew Murray and Adam Smith moved the score along to 160-3 at a good rate, before Smith fell for 33. He hit Dixon to Dean Allen-Turner at mid-off, Windsor finally taking a catch to break the partnership. Opening bowler Ziemkendorf came back into the attack and bowled Corsini first ball, to give Windsor a sniff at 162-5.

Captain Lines brought himself back into the attack and trapped Murray in front for a well-made 48, and at 175-6 there was still plenty to play for. However, Billy Baker struck a couple of powerful boundaries over the top and Windsor never bowled or caught well enough to build enough pressure. Will Ellison hit a boundary straight to finish the game with 10 balls to spare, Royal Ascot winning by 4 wickets.

It was a disappointing performance and result for Windsor, who never got going in the field, and Royal Ascot leapfrog Windsor to move to the top of the table.

Next week Windsor face Cove at home in the final game of the season.

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