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2017 1st XI Season's Review Part 1

Our resident Seth Efrican  Englishman Timothy "Medusa" van Noort has crafted a superb season's review for the 1st XI. Hold onto your hats, here is Part One! Any barbs at team mates are entirely his words........! 

1st XI Review
2017 Season
Division 5 West SPCL - CHAMPIONS

 JEM bat to Dad 2017

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”.
- Nelson Mandela

Part 1: The Opening Stand

In my opinion, we play for the healthiest cricket club in the land. The 1st XI performance this season has summed that up with us winning the league with adversity rearing its head in many forms and at any opportunity. The average age of the team has not been too far above 20 in every match so the future is bright and significantly, availability was much better as we only used 25 players (and of those, six only played one game), compared to 30+ in 2016. We are not the best team in the land yet but that will happen one day when we are ready and for the right reasons and those reasons are happening around us on a daily basis.

With the league re-structure leaving us in Div 5 West with seven 2nd XI’s plus Crawley and Broadwater, it was always going to be a two-horse race between the Windmills and our friends on the coast. The balance would lie in the two head to head fixtures and which team could avoid any slip ups along the way. The first five and last four games of the league would also be 45/45 over contests so this was bound to assist us dealing with any negative opposition! So, let’s go back to the beginning……

1st XI fielding 2017

GAME 1: Saturday 6th May saw us host Chichester 2nd XI and new skipper Adam Trees (fondly known as TJ) lost the toss and we were asked to bat. We struggled a bit early doors, but Haggs and Reuben both got starts as did Woody who we had just welcomed to the club from a Castle or Faraway Land or something, but at 162 for 8 things were in the balance. Enter Jake who had just returned from the first ever Afghan Premier League in fine form with the willow and with coach Medusa, the pair putting on a magnificent partnership of 68 with the latter top scoring with 44*. A total of 247/9 off our 45 overs looked respectable and surely Jake had put in a great claim to move up the batting order as the season progressed? Chi never got into the game with the two batting heroes (yes heroes I tell ya) also opening the bowling and restricting the oppo to 51/5 before the young guns Ruby Tuesday and Charlie Bieber got stuck in as well finishing them off at 66 all out in 19 overs. RT ended with amazing figures of 3 for 5 off 4 overs and we had our first 30 points in the bag……but so did Broadwater who ironically bowled Billingshurst out for 66 as well. Points: Windmills 30 – Broadwater 30
Toss: Windmills 0 – 1 Opposition. Highlights: Playing our first game under the Windmill and securing 30 points!

Jarvis missing kit 2017

GAME 2: Saturday 13th May saw us visit Middleton where we won the toss and had a bat with the first ton of the season being posted by the skipper, with most of them off his pads! It was actually a very well-timed knock after Tom Chambers managed to hit the first ball which was a full toss straight to cover. 0/1 and the ball had not hit the surface yet! Mick Dundee made a typically aggressive contribution of 77 which took us to another good total of 239/5 so things looked positive at the break. Mick continued his good form and picked up 3 early sticks with the ball, then Bieber and Timbo “Leg-end” Monday also picked up 3 each with the latter ending up with amazing figures of 3 for 5 off 5 overs. Middleton 116 all out and a victory by 123 runs and another 30 points in the bank. Points: Windmills 60 – Broadwater 60. Toss: Windmills 1 – 1 Opposition
Highlights: Chambers dismissal, Jarvis 100 plus leaving his helmet and gloves behind……

GAME 3: Saturday 20th May saw Worthing 2nd XI visiting the Windmills on the back of a win and a loss in their first 2 games. Losing the toss and being inserted again, the Windmills compiled a very respectable 265/7 off their 45 overs. The skipper continued his fine form and was unlucky to miss out on his second consecutive ton scoring 89 and put on a 3rd wicket partnership of 152 with Golden Boy Reuben Taylor who made 72* at almost a run-a-ball. The Windmills were well supported by extras who contributed the third highest score of 51 and unfortunately summed up the difficulty we were going to face trying to apply ourselves against some very loose bowling through the season.

Jake Hodgson bowling 2017

1st XI fielding 2017

“…….it was here this morning?”. 

Worthing’s reply never got going as the Afghan tore through the top order. The Worthing colts had red numbers on their backs which was like a red rag to a bull and with RT bowling very tightly at the other end, it was time for Jake to fill his army boots which he did admirably picking up 5/39 off his 9 overs. Bieber then turned his calcium infested shoulder over and put Worthing out of their misery picking up 3 quick wickets with his magical tweekers, however 2 front-foot no-balls resulted in a heavy financial penalty! Tom Chambers had a fantastic game behind the stumps taking 3 catches and 2 stumpings which left his account on 0 when taking into consideration the 5 byes….. Points: Windmills 90 – Broadwater 90; Toss: Windmills 1 – 2 Opposition; Highlights: Richie Harrison bringing his dog to watch the match….and keeping his clothes on.

Tom Chambers keeping 2017

GAME 4: Saturday 27th May saw us travel down to Goring which apparently is by-the-sea for what I can only describe as a day of almost record-breaking carnage! Winning the toss and not hesitating to have a bat, the Windmills got swinging very early doors. Chambers and Jarvis got off to a flyer with TC showing very little respect for the bowling attack and flaying 125 off 94 balls including 86 runs in boundaries. The opening stand of 192 broke the spirit of the Goring bowlers and the Windmills still had plenty in the tank, with young star Hugo “the 12-year-old” Gillespie making his first team debut and scoring a very eye-catching 45 batting at number 4. Jarv ended up on 69 and Jack “BEEEEEEEEF” Monday contributed a brutal 63 off just 61 balls taking the total to a very defendable 370/3 off our 51 overs……yes 37 wides! It may have been a safety tactic bowling wide rather than straight……particularly considering that Mick Dundee only got a crack at 9 deliveries! Anyway, to cut a long story short, Medusa and Dundee then took the new ball and picked up 5 wickets a piece finishing the job with the penultimate delivery of the 18th over thus giving nobody else a sniff at a bowl! The only disappointment was that we allowed them to get past 70 and missed out on a 300-run victory, however still a pretty good day at the office! The interesting news from up at Goodwood where Broadwater were defending 232 against Chichester was that Chi had got to within 13 runs with 2 wickets in hand….. Perhaps some cracks were starting to show! Points: Windmills 120 – Broadwater 120. Toss: Windmills 2 – 2 Opposition. Highlights: Timbo being fined for slavery due to using Haggart's local knowledge of cheap cigarette suppliers…

GAME 5: Saturday 3rd June saw us travel the short distance down the A24 to the picturesque yet “leaning to the left” ground at Findon. After a very traumatic warm-up with Haggs managing to snap his foot off and threatening Charlie Davies with his life if he tried to fine him, vice-skipper JEM who was in charge for the day won the toss and elected to bat on the Lordsesque pitch. With Jarvis missing, it was a perfect opportunity to open with the dynamic “Canary Yellow” Australians TC and Micko and try to score more than 370 without losing a wicket. However, the cricketing gods are not that kind and they sent a lightning bolt down onto Mick's stumps with his first ball which according to a very perplexed Mick had not occurred since 2:34 pm on 5th July 2000! The altitude and possibly the sight of Haggs’ foot lying in the middle of the warm up clearly got to us as we managed to string together one of our worst performances of the season. The running between the wickets was horrendous possibly because most balls struck through the covers up the hill simply rolled back to the bowler, but we did make life difficult for ourselves. The skipper led the scratch with a good 62 and Chambers, Howgate and Woody all got starts without converting. It was an absolute pleasure to have Ed “Val” Kilner back in the middle order, where he apparently belongs, however he did not belong in the middle as he got run out without facing a ball. Once again, the lack of 1st XI cricketing experience let him down as there was clearly no shout of IN! Haggs also showed some true guts, most of them hanging out of his ankle area, and held up an end on one foot to frustrate the Findon bowlers. We ended up on a respectable yet slightly under par 222 all out but probably had enough to take us to a full 150 points after the first 5 limited overs matches. Medusa and Mick took the new cherry and quickly put the Findon boys on the back foot at 24/3, but a 4th wicket partnership of 51 littered with poor fielding and dropped catches took the gleam off the start a bit. Danny Abbott made his 1st XI debut and bowled a few decent overs without success, and all the bowlers chipped in with wickets eventually dismissing them for 166 off 39.5 overs. Timbo shouted very loudly at times and many of the caravans left the adjacent camping site during the afternoon, but we did not make the skipper's day a very pleasant one! The important thing is that we bagged another 30 points and along with us finding Haggs foot in the rabbit burrow, it was actually a successful day! Points: Windmills 150 – Broadwater 150; Toss: Windmills 3 – 2 Opposition; Highlights: JEM thinking it would be safer if we tried to bowl our 45 overs without a ball and Howgate spying on campers from the top of the local summit…..

1st XI at Findon 2017

Coming soon…….

Part 2: The Middle Order - A gripping account of our 9 games of timed cricket……

Part 3: The Tail-enders - The final push for promotion back to the limited overs format for the final 4 games