A pretty clinical victory for Hyde Heath this Sunday, apart from one notable exception, about which more later. The opponents this week were local rivals Chesham Bois – some readers might be interested to note that I was born and raised in Chesham Bois, as was Dominic Haddock and Nick’s father-in-law lives there, but, in all honesty, very few are likely to care too much.
Myself and Henry Capper turned up rather late – courtesy of an irritating little TfL fellow named Andrew – and Hyde Heath were in the field, so I can only assume that Charlie had won the toss. We put together a strong all-round display – James Aird was again the major threat early on but Jez was unlucky to finish wicketless after beating the bat with great regularity. Airdy was also unlucky not to have their opening batsman LBW for single figures – especially as he went on to hold the visitors’ innings together with a hard-working 89.
I was given a 10-over spell by Charlie and, with the wicket turning quite sharply, managed to take two wickets for 39, including, as so often, a 14 year-old number 11. At the other end Simon Napier-Munn was swinging it both ways and bowling with great accuracy. He picked up three wickets, including two in two balls, but our one bad moment of the day cost Napes a fourth. He bowled the ball, the right-handed batsman chipped it in the air straight to short wicket – a gentle little underarm lob. Capper – gloveless thanks to his criminal ticket-avoidance activities earlier in the day – somehow, to general amazement, shelled it. Wow. Surely this year’s Cack Award is in the bag?
So, only 154 for victory, and a solid opening partnership – 41 for Capper, 39 for Richard Cousins – did the bulk of the work. But with the target in sight, Hyde Heath decided to jazz things up with a little middle-order wobble. It was left to James Shrimpton with another excellent innings of 46 not out and Jez to see us home.
While all this was going on there was also apparently some cricket going on in Cardiff. Congratulations to Paul Collingwood, James Anderson and Monty Panesar for securing the draw. Check out the Cricket Tragics live Twitter coverage of the nerve-jangling 5th day. Sadly, England are looking pretty toothless right now. And I can’t see things changing that much before Lord’s, a venue where England haven’t beaten Australia in a Test since 1934.