Oh dear, Cricket Tragics really have been letting their readers down of late. We apologise wholeheartedly, but it's been a busy week wading through the usual combination of death threats and fan mail as well as some particularly pointed correspondence from a certain “Disgruntled of Hyde Heath”. Sorry! Please don't cancel your subscription to Cricket Tragics – it's the only way we can raise enough money for our daily diet of linseed oil and scotch eggs.
The other reason is that our esteemed editor seems to have rather mislaid his cricketing form... Yes, 'tis true, three matches into the season and I've yet to take a wicket or score a run. And I'm probably going for about 8 an over. Such stats don't make for good reading or fond reminiscing.
So let's focus on the positives, as professional cricketers like to say, and Sunday's match away at the picturesque ground of Great Missenden Pelicans will stand out in the memory for one reason: an unbeaten innings of 116 by James Shrimpton, his first hundred for Hyde Heath (not counting the one he scored against the Plough back in 2010 – putting on an unbeaten 150 partnership with a certain Tom Jeffreys. Oh happier days of yore!)
Anyway, to the point, and apart from a dropped chance on the deep midwicket boundary when he had about 85, this was as near a flawless innings as you could expect from village cricket. Everyone here has always known that James is a seriously quality player, and this innings was replete with his usual array of dismissive pulls and corruscating cover drives. The difference though was that at no stage did he get bored, over-confident or lose concentration. He just kept going, and dragged Hyde Heath to a comfortable victory.
Earlier we'd dismissed the Pelicans for around 170, with Bradley taking four and Jez two in a very long and accurate spell of swing bowling. Shrimpie also took four wickets to lay down a pretty strong claim for 2011's Outstanding Performance award.