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Youth in Revolt

There is always going to be a logistical issue when over half the side is under the legal driving limit, it’s even worse when they turn up half an hour late. So with a side thin on batting in the first place, the last thing we wanted to do was bat. But seeing as we had 8 players at the toss, Windsor chose to bat against a mid-table Finchampstead 4xi.

It is worth pointing out (Excluding wiley old fox Kevin Clifford); the oldest player was 23 with the side an average of just 16 with 7 of 11 under 20. Trust me I did the maths and everything.

On a Concrete deck that was dusty and so so grey, opening pair of Grewal and Madden (9) got off to a quick start with Madden showing off his Baseball background by leathering the first couple balls for boundries but chipped one to point shortly after. Clifford Sr and Grewal pushed on at a steady rate, displaying a fantastic array of strokes, patience and smart running before Clifford Sr was dismissed for 30.

Batsman 4,5 and 6 tumbled for little value with Patel Sr (2) deceived by uneven bounce, Sharp (9) beaten by a straight on and the Skipper deceived what was being heralded by the Finchampstead players as the ball of a decade. It’s safe to say had that not happened the Bhabra probably would have tonned up, but instead was dismissed for 9. In the meanwhile the boy with two first names, Gareth George, had joined the party and steadied the ship. Jaz ‘Hands’ Grewal who had been playing second fiddle  for most of the Windsor innings as he was asked to, then kicked on nicely before being dismissed for 42 after a very mature knock for a 16 year old who usually gets stashed at number 11 for some reason in other sides.

George muscled his way to 36 before being deceived by the slower ball (not as good as the one that got Bhabra out) and chipping it to point. This of course sent George into a rage that could only have been steroid induced, thankfully there’s no drug testing in TVL 7a.

The tail was shaky living mainly off leg byes and extras with the exception of 14 year old Ben Clifford who worked the 3rd man area cleverly with some strategic edges and glances. Clifford jr (16), Dixon (1) and Patel jr (1*) were the final contributions with Jack O’Neil still waiting to break his club duck. A decent total of 177 and at least some batting points guaranteed.

After tea, with no established wicket keeper, stop gap Dr Matt Sharp had the gloves thrust upon him and did an exemplary job, considering he hadn’t played cricket in 6 years he put in a fantastic performance by normal standards. For one week at least, Windsor would not be beating themselves with needless byes. Having said that, Windsor failed to cover themselves in glory whilst fielding, albeit whilst being deceived by a quick and uneven outfield.

Dixon and O’Neil took the new ball with Dixon continuing an impressive season and showing silly amounts of promise by picking up 2 early wickets in his first spell and had another dropped. O’Neill bowled well in his first spell and deserved better but for a dropped catch, soon the Jack Daniels and coke from the night before began to wear on him and a breather was required. His mind was telling him no, but his body, his body was telling him yes. Patel Jr (who is 13) and George took over and continued to stifle keep Finch at a manageable rate for their allotted spells with George picking up a wicket thanks to safe hands from Patel Sr. Due to a slow over rate and a miscalculation as to when Dixon could resume (because he is 15), the Captain Bhabra decided to bowl one quick over. This turned out to be a move of pure evil genius as the Skipper picked up a wicket, breaking up a crucial partnership. He bowled another over and picked up another wicket. This happened 3 times over a spell that was only meant to be an over but turned into a 6 over exhibition of bad bowling gets wickets and relying on Clifford Sr’s ludicrous athleticism (seriously, it was just silly). Dixon took over from George at the over end as Bhabra was bowling lights out at his original end, and took 2 more wickets with this ridiculously hooping deliveries.

With the Finch requiring 40 with 2 remaining wickets Windsor could not break through and find at least that ninth wicket that would have provided a crucial bonus point removing us from the 7a basement and one of the opposition’s more seasoned players showed his experience and guided them to the total with help of some phantom wides.

Fantastic effort from the boys, most of whom had never met developed fantastic chemistry spawning numerous, imaginative nicknames and got a decent result in spite of a tactically retarded captain. The Windsor youth team take on Newbury at home this week looking to build on an encouraging performance.

Match Highlights

J Grewal 42, G George 36, K Clifford 30.

C Dixon 12/1/30/4

J Bhabra 9/0/31/3

K Clifford 2 catches

Being told off for a slow over rate despite the Finchampstead line up taking more time between shots than Jonathon Trottboat.