Having beaten Furze Platt and Claire’s Court in previous rounds, the Year 9 side faced local rivals Eton College in the semi-final of the County Cup. The captain lost the toss but the hosts in their blue caps decided to bat first.
Charlie Dunnett led the way with some superb away swing seam bowling and the Eton side were 30-2. Sam Healey clung onto a superb catch at square leg. This was a promising sign but the opposition started to make the most of the short boundaries and particularly quick outfield. The aim was to keep the opponents “under 130 and knock them off” but this plan had to alter. Josh Jayasingh bowled some skilful leg breaks and nearly claimed a wicket with a stumping. Aamir Farooq and Zain Ishaq bowled some accurate off breaks but the Eton boys managed to reach a very impressive 157 from their 20 overs. The boys had done their best, but for a few missed chances we could have contained them even more.
We spoke about how well the lads had performed in the field and then were treated to a delicious tea by our very hospitable neighbours. Once the brownies, scones and sandwiches had been digested it was then the time to chase the impressive target – 158 to win from our 20 over allocation. The aim was to keep wickets intact and score 60 runs from the first 10 overs. Jordan Talia was promoted up the order into the “pinch hitter” role but unfortunately the bowling was too accurate. After 5 overs the Windsor side were on just 10 runs. The pressure began to rise and Charlie Dunnett was run out on 19. He was given very few opportunities by the well-oiled machine that was Eton. The left-handed Josh Jayasingh played some fantastic shots, a square cut off their speedy left arm seamer was arguably the pick. He finished unbeaten on 45.
The boys were bowled out for 90 in the end. They gave their very best and should take much confidence from their performance. Eton would like a friendly game next year which is compliment to the boys. Their Senior Master who has just passed his hundredth term at the world famous college said that that is the best Windsor Boys’ side he has seen. The boys were informed of this and it was well received.
To put this game into context it is key to be aware of the fact that the other semi-final was between Bradfield College and Wellington College. To be in the company of these teams is an achievement in itself. Another thing to consider is that Eton have 15 county players from which to select their 11, which defines the standard we are faced with.
Mr A Paul