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Windsor played hosts to local rivals Datchet in their round 3 clash at Home Park, Datchet were very keen to turn the tables on Windsor and had recruited heavily in the off season, adding a number of former premier league players to their side.

Will Banner returned to the Windsor line-up at the expense of Chana in what was the only change from the side that drew against Eversley the previous week.

Weston won his third toss in a row and elected to bat on what initially looked like a very good wicket.

Windsor got off to a poor start with Harris and Weston both sent back to the pavilion before the score reached double figures. Patchet (35) continued his good form at the other end striking a number of boundaries off the bowling of Lambert as he and Nichols attempted to resurrect the innings.

On the back of an exuberant Datchet appeal, Nichols was unlucky to be given out to a very doubtful LBW, Banner and then Patchet followed him back in quick succession to leave Windsor in all sorts of trouble at 90/5.

Gould (62) and Huggins (26) then came together, Huggins in particular was delighted to be facing the Datchet spinners and as per usual attempted to dispatch them into the castle and river and with Gould batting very sensibly at the other end the pair pushed the score towards 150. Allen-Turner (26*) joined Gould following a mis-timed Huggins slog and they continued the good work and attempted to guide Windsor to 200.

Some good bowling in the final overs from Datchet saw Windsor lose a couple of quick wickets and fall just short of the 200 run target at 191/9 from their allotted 52 overs.

This score was initially thought to be around 30-40 runs short on what looked like a good batting wicket, but it was certainly a lot better than what it could have been when Gould first came to the crease, he batted superbly in scoring his first league 50 for the 1s team in over 2 years.

With the struggles encountered the previous week fresh in their minds (when attempting to chase down a similar total against Eversley), Windsor elected to take the old ball and open up with Mohindru (2-55) and Nichols (5-43).

Weston set a containing field from the start to both bowlers who in turn bowled the perfect line and length and made scoring almost impossible early on for the Datchet batters.

Nichols wound back the clock circa 2009 and produced a brilliant bowling spell, dismissing both Datchet openers and their portly number 4 for low scores which saw Datchet crawl to 33/3 from 17 overs.

With Datchet’s key batters, Alldis and Aziz at crease the game was in the balance in the middle third of the Datchet innings. Nichols and Mohindru continued to toil away on a wicket offering nothing to them in terms of bounce, pace or sideways movement. They were very well backed up by a much more committed and dedicated fielding outfit compared to the one that showed up against Eversley, this pressure proved too much for both of Datchet’s key men as they wholed out in the deep off the bowling of Mohindru.

Nichols then quickly removed another Jones and the game had turned very much in Windsor’s favour with Datchet needing a run a ball for the remaining 15 overs with only 4 wickets in hand.

Datchet shut up shop quite quickly following the flurry of wickets and never really tried to chase down the total. Nichols had Lambert very smartly caught behind by Care to give Windsor a glimmer of hope of what would have been a memorable 25 point victory, however the game petered out a draw with Datchet reaching 115/7 off their allotted 48 overs. Nichols and Mohindru, having a combined age of over 80 years, bowled a mammoth 43 of the 48 overs between them and gave Datchet absolutely nothing in a quality bowling performance and effort.

Despite not being able to take the final 3 wickets and win the game, Windsor can take bragging rights (and more points) against the competition favourites and the improvement that was called upon from the previous week was certainly delivered by all in the field and by Gould with the bat.

Windsor, whilst undefeated, sit mid table in Div. 2A at the end of round 3 and will travel to Slough next week keen to avenge their embarrassing 2011 defeat that entitled their promotion campaign.

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