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Red Hot Stunner

Following a good (losing) result last week, the Windsor Development/4xi looked to build on their promise and took on league leaders Newbury at Home park in a gorgeous 27°c heat.

Returning to the side were former V Team Stalwarts; Panther ‘PJ’ Jones, Paul ‘Woody’ Woodbridge and Ian ‘The Tominator’ Toms each adding some much needed experience to the side.

Coming into the match, Newbury were the top scoring side in the division so when they won the toss and chose to bat, there was no surprise and Windsor prepared themselves for what would prove to be challenging fielding conditions under a breezeless sun. Dixon and ‘Dollar’ Bilal Ahmed took the new ball, with the later retuning to the side after withdrawing late the week before for undisclosed reasons.  Dixon continued his fine form with the new ball dismissing the opposition danger man relatively cheaply considering he had be among the 100’s and 50’s all season. Bilal, not to be left out clean bowled their number 3 and we were well and truly in the game. Following their age restricted spells Jack O’Neill and Gareth George were brought on with the task of stifling runs and breaking a budding partnership between their no.1 and no.4 managed to keep the run rate manageable but found no way through.  It was not easy for any of our seam bowlers in those conditions (especially O’Neill; who had a raging hangover) but they each stuck at it and ran in hard every ball.

The Newbury pair began to settle and a change of tactic was needed, so Woodbridge and Grewal were brought on to shake things up. Woody bowled tight and frustrated the bats with a lack of scoring chances and Grewal, who had issues finding the pitch, caught their no. 4 off guard with a straightish one that he knicked off with PJ making a very tricky take look easy.  The opposition piled on with wickets falling every so often, Woodbridge grabbing a pair and Dixon adding another in his second spell thanks to a cracking catch by the Skipper/ Benevolent Dictator Bhabra who trapped the ball between his left (muscular) bicep and forearm and another catch from Kumar at backward point.

The team put in a cracking effort in the field limiting the Newbury to 244 when they declared after 48 overs, with a special mention to Cailen ‘Special K’ Madden who put in an absolute shift at mid off, stopping countless runs. It also must be noted that after badgering the skipper as to when he would get his second spell, Bilal, when called upon diagnosed himself with heatstroke and delirium which prompted him to withdraw himself from the attack. Oh Bilal.

After a tea that left the home side wondering if we had gone to an alien clubhouse, a hungry Windsor cracked on chasing down the target. Madden and Grewal retaining their spots in the order, looked to continue their version of Ice and Fire with Grewal taking his time and ticking over the scoreboard while our very own Paddy Power (after getting dropped first ball) wasted no time, getting to 20 even whilst showing off the new shot he learnt at nets during the week (the Forward Defensive) before missing a straight one. Toms went in, showed class on some shots for none, then came back out, followed by Windsor debutant Arun ‘AK-27’ Kumar who looked to get settled before being caught in front LBW. Windsor had fallen to 44-3 when the Captain/Religious Icon Jag ‘Jagatolla’ Bhabra came in. Him and Grewal settled in and ticked the scoreboard over and looked to be heading in the right direction before Bhabra was bowled round his legs the opposing Skippers part time leg spin. I think it’s fair to say, had it not been for that delivery, Bhabra probably would have tonned up. Instead he was dismissed for 15. 77-4. Enter Woodbridge, who had dropped himself down the order in order to rest after a long bowling spell came in and looked to push on and protect his wicket. Grewal was dismissed for 22, failing to connect on a cut shot, not long after Woody’s arrival. Gareth George came in after what seemed like a productive power nap whilst waiting to bat but what was probably narcolepsy. He and Woodbridge put together a fantastic partnership in conditions that seemed to get hotter causing Woodbridge to turn the same hue of salmon red as his cap. It took a moon ball to dismiss George for a very mature 60 bringing Windsor right within striking distance of the win. The Muscle Hamster again showing he is developing into a very good all-rounder. Dixon came in and added a patient and classy 11 then departed caught behind. This brought wicketkeeper/batsman/savant Panther Jones to the crease. He and long-time stable mate Woodbridge rolled back the years and continued to matriculate runs, inching us closer to the total. Sadly Woodbridge was dismissed for 55, short of the total leaving ‘Simple’ Jack O’Neill to come in and close out the game with PJ. Our very own Mr Tibbs continued to impress in the heat of the Day/Night  showing copious experience, and Jack, after some mind game with the bowler baited him to bowl a wide got us within a run of matching the score. With the scores tied at 244, O’Neill unfortunately couldn’t get to a straight one in time and was dismissed bowled which brought in last man Bilal, who at this point was border line delusional with “Heat Stroke”.  Bilal managed to not get out on the 2 deliveries he faced to close out the Over; despite claiming he was seeing more than one ball each time. PJ closed out the innings with a classic 4.

Windsor were grateful for thier first win of the season, hopefully the side will use this as a Springboard and push on away from the danger zone having left the league table basement for the first time this season. Also must be mentioned regarding Newbury; a great side that was gracious in defeat and play the game the right way, it’s no wonder they are doing so well. Next week Windsor host Theale looking for revenge after the trouncing we got at their place.

Key performances

Gareth George 60

Paul Woodbridge 55

Panther Jones 35

Bilal: 0 Sun: 1