The Windmill Whack for 2017 started on Bank Holiday Monday with wins for pre-season favourites Chairmans Choice & Root 66'ers, but not without some frights along the way.
In the first match of the competition, the 2016 champs took on last year's wooden spoonists the Apple Financial Firebirds. The Firebirds elected to field and had the same feeling as last season when Shahbaz Butt blasted his way to a 25 ball 50. New Firebirds captain James Evans started to ring the changes and Nick Ison took the first wicket of the competition bowling Akbar Jabar for 20. New signing Luke Taylor then took 3 quick wickets, sending back Billinghurst, Wyatt and Thompson to check the Choice's rapid progress. Bannister and Peck ran well to set the Firebirds 178 for victory.
In reply Joe Wyatt was out early off the bowling of Bannister before skipper Evans and Ison set about the target, putting on 89 before skipper Evans retired on 50. After Peck dismissed Ison the rest of the Firebirds struggled to keep up with the rate required leading to a 27 run win for the Choice (Scorecard)
The second match saw the Root 66'ers sneak home in the final over against the Kalijeera Kings. The Kings won the toss and decided to bat but were soon regretting the decision as they lost both openers for ducks. Skipper Frankie Hazle set about making up for this as he hit a flurry of boundaries along with Arun Kullar, putting on 50 for the 3rd wicket. The Roots though quickly dismissed Hazle and Kullar and took regular wickets, including a stunning catch by Andrew Berry, to dismiss the Kings for 108 after 19.1 overs.
In reply the Kings struck early and reduced the roots to 15/3, losing star batsmen Julian Whetstone along the way. When Ollie Woods dismissed Ben Calder for 10 the 66'ers were 32/4 and in trouble. Experienced 'overseas' player Andrew Kennedy came in and rebuilt the innings with Myles Timoti. Timoti hit 30 from 28 balls before Hazle dismissed him with 30 required. Roots skipper Harry Jenkins hit a run a ball 12 and along with Kennedy (36*) saw the Roots home with a ball to spare. (Scorecard)
Updated 19:53 - 30 May 2017 by Paul Middlemiss