Up Fixtures 2017 Home
|Season to date||Played||Won||Lost||Drawn||Abandoned||Cancelled|
(Table does not include Six-a-Sides)
Pictures - Chris Sargeant
|April 23rd||Bank of England - Lost||A||May 7th||Chiltern Crusaders - Won||H|
|May 14th||The Lee - Won||A||May 21st||Pelicans - Won||A|
|May 28th||Little Marlow - Won||H||June 4th||Roxbourne - Won !||H|
|June 11th||Misfits - Won||H||June 18th||Southwell Ramblers - Won !|
|June 24th||Presidents X1 - Drawn||H|
June 24th - Presidents X1 - Drawn
President's Day, the highlight of the social calendar was upon us again. The beer festival the night before had been a roaring success and we're all very grateful to Nick and Emma for their wonderful organisation and to many others who helped set up, work the bar and man the BBQ.
Following many years of washed out, rain effected, or one sided matches this year's President's Day fixture was competitive and played under sunny skies. Charlie dusted off his whites to skipper Johny Capper's side of HHCC alumni, local rivals and old friends. As is tradition, the club bowled first and things got off to a suspect start when a short pitched delivery scuttled along the deck to bowl their opening bat, and when Luke pulled off a stunning return catch in his next over the score was 10-2 and Johny was worrying.
Fortunately at this stage Charlie, presumably keen to generously set the Heath batsmen something to chase, overlooked a convincing LBW appeal and Adam Pusey capitalised. His 151* was beautifully constructed, brutal at times and patient at others. We bowled well throughout, Luke particularly. Our fielding wasn't at its best but there were some high points, Ben deflecting a straight drive back onto the stumps in his bowling follow through, and a sharp diving catch by Dom behind the stumps.
The President's XI set 238 which would take some getting. Our reply got off to a stuttering start. Plenty got in, but then got themselves out. The sight of Luke leaving a straight one rather summed things up. Then Henry King and Spencer came together and both scored at a great rate, with such confidence that it looked like a win might just become possible. But in the 30s Henry was caught attempting to chip over the infield and all of a sudden our tactics needed to change.
Fiddy, at that stage on 30, took it upon himself to see us home to a draw. Seeping determination from every pore, he resisted loopy declaration bowling, the return of quick openers and a bucket load of unsolicited advice from fielders. It was a selfless (he finished tantalising close to 50), mature and match saving innings, the best I have seen him play. Wickets fell at the other end, until our last man Ben came to the crease, fresh from his long blocking session two weeks ago and the pair barnacled their way to the close.
An excellent day for the club and the village, made possible by the army of local volunteers to whom we are extremely grateful.
June 18th - Southwell Ramblers - Home Win !
Two fantastic individual performances, well supported by the rest of the side took us to our seventh victory in a row this weekend.
We lost the toss to Southwell Ramblers and we're asked to bowl first on what looked like a belting wicket and quick outfield. The Ramblers strong start confirmed this and they raced to 40 without loss. We managed to peg them back a bit, then Nick unleashed Adnan and the game changed. Adnan bowled beautifully all afternoon. He took a good return catch from their star man and Henry supported him behind the sticks with three stumpings. This is to be Adnan's final spell for the club as he's moving to Leeds and his parting gift to us was 7 for 41, well bowled. Sohail bowled a fearsome spell, which included a characteristic 'bowled' wicket. Stanley and Ben were unlucky not to break through and Dom popped up at the end to buy a couple of wickets thanks to a stunning overhead boundary catch from Stanley and a more regulation grab by Kenny.
We bowled the Ramblers out for 139. We've made hard work of similar chases recently, but not so this week. Henry and Dom's opening stand was dominated by Henry who's having an outstanding season, but even in that context this knock was special. He timed the ball sweetly from the first over, playing classy shots to all parts, there was nowhere to bowl to him. When Dom's much more conservative innings came to an end the score was over 100 and victory a near certainty. HHCC debutant Henry K made short work of the 30 or so still required, with some smart shots that we look forward to seeing more of. Henry finished on 87* and pushed his season average above 400. He even bought a jug to mark the occasion!
So we say farewell to Adnan who we have enjoyed playing with so much for the last few years - we wish him well in Leeds. There's space in the side again for a leg spinner, anyone know what time the first Eurostar pulls into St Pancras on Sunday mornings?
June 11th - Misfits - Home Win !
An wonderful victory for HHCC this week, to extend the winning streak to six. Things didn't get off to a good start though, Little Missenden's Australian opening bat got off to a flyer with well struck cover drives, to put 47 in the score board without loss after 8 overs. We needed some magic and Sohail provided it, strangling the Aussie down leg. There followed an odd exchange as the batsman firmly told the umpire to retract his decision, claiming not to have hit it, which the umpire, in the spirit of a Theresa May U-turn, did. With one eye on catches column in the end of season averages sheet, Dom just as firmly reminded the umpire how umpiring worked and to his credit said umpire upheld his original decision, pleasing the many (fielders), not the few (the batsman).
Sohail struck again the very next ball and from there on in, we were into them. Ben reeled off 12 excellent overs and took two wickets and Adnan tossed the ball high, extracted turn and took three wickets for 15 runs from eight overs. Bursts from Kenny and Fiddy saw them take a wicket apiece and Aaron's cool head ensured we capitalised on some suicidal running between the wickets. We bowled Little Missenden out for 119.
Oh what a mess our top order made of the chase, we were quickly 14 for 4. Out strode Kenny and we wondered what his approach might be to this perilous situation. He decided to belt everything pitched in his half as hard as he could and it was good to watch. He needed a foil, someone to sure up an end and Aaron was the man, enabling Kenny to keep hitting freely. It took a wonderful catch to dismiss Kenny, who fell just one short of his 50, but what a wonderfully entertaining and match resuscitating 49 it was.
There was still work to be done. Now 8 down, we were still 30 short and in the context of a 120 run target, still a way off. We needed another significant innings and Liam provided it. His wicket was never in doubt, even when opening bowlers were brought back on, Liam's forward defence was impenetrable. He played no false or forcing shots and knew that with 20 overs still remaining, the singles would come. Slowly but surely he was getting us to the line. Liam was ably supported by Ben, who occupied wonderfully in the slowest but most important 4 not out I've ever witnessed. A guide past backward point and we'd done it! Liam finished on 22*.
After an excellent fielding effort, it
look for all the world that we'd thrown this game away. But every
single one of our numbers 5 to 10 contributed, to make damn sure we
won and keep our winning streak going. Will it last to President's
June 4th - Roxbourne - Home Win !
A classic start to a Sunday cricket match, an opposition car had broken down en route to the match, so three members of Roxbourne's XI would be an hour late. They forfeited the toss, and given we had nine players at the ground, to their eight, we fielded first.
Luke bowled brilliantly, slightly fuller and slightly straighter than is natural for him and Roxbourne's top order couldn't cope. A superbly deflected bowlers run out was icing on the cake from Luke, whose figures read 9-1-24-2. His economy was particular noteworthy given that Roxbourne's strategy was T20 in style. Bats were thrown at everything, which got the scoreboard rattling along, but unfortunately for them, the wickets column rattled along nicely too. Sohail struggled with his line early on, but his last four overs were excellent and he also took two wickets. Adnan returning from injury bowled a very tight spell (10 runs off his 5 overs) and took his first wicket of the summer with the worst ball he bowled all day, good old leg spinners! Waq twirled down some offies until their number 8 whacked him into the trees, at which stage he decided to return to his more usual seamers and clean bowled the number 8 the next delivery. His accuracy cleaned up the tail and we bowled Roxbourne out for 135.
Our reply raced to 35 with pit loss. However, Dom managed to combine an awful shot, with a very good catch, setting off a mini collapse which saw three wickets fall in six balls for the addition of one run - game on. Luke joined Henry 'red ink' Capper, and the pair sensibly went into a quiet stabilising period for some overs. A classy, straight punch for four by Luke signalled that his eye was in and the two returned to their natural free flowing games, striking bad balls to all parts. Luke was run out on 40 thanks to a very smart direct hit, but the damage had been done. Henry, unfurled sweetly timed consecutive cover drives (yes, you read that correctly, eat yer heart out Ian Bell) and the job was done.
After a classic start to a Sunday cricket match, we also had a classic finish; the Plough full to burst with cricketers drinking warm beer and watching the rain fall outside. Inside we celebrated our fifth win in a row, wondered whether this was a record and calculated Henry's current average. It's 348. Perhaps the highest average without having bought a jug since records began.
May 28th - Lt Marlow - Home Win !
On a sizzling afternoon at Fortress Heath, we won again, making it four wins in the trot !
We hosted the strong Little Marlow, won the toss and asked them to bat first. Their experienced opening pair were aggressive from the start, but Ben and Sohail contained them and were well supported with committed fielding all round. Stanley, coming on first change bowled with deadly accuracy and a well disguised slightly slower ball, that stuck in the pitch and tested the well set batsmen. Debutant Saj came on to bowl a seemly never ending spell, which started seam-up and as the ball softened, he very effectively changed to off spin. We began to chip away at the wickets, then Jeremy came on to great effect, striking twice in two balls.
Though we bowled well, over the course of the innings a couple of chances went through pairs of hands, the odd long hop was dispatched and three of Little Marlow’s batsmen put together significant innings. We went to tea requiring 212 to win.
It was the first weekend of Ramadan, and 12 players across the two teams were fasting. Given the heat, humidity and length of day a great deal of respect was extended to our fasting team mates and oppo and it was a touching sight to see nine of the opposition make their afternoon prayers together on the outfield.
To reach 212, our reply needed to start with impetus and Will Cousins gave us just that, clattering the odd loose ball over the boundary for sixes and fours, allowing the more sedate Dom to get his eye in (and digest the 32 sandwiches he’d had to eat, given Ramadan’s double measures). Saj picked up where Will left off and sweetly timed some back-footed cover drives during a smart 20 odd. Kenny came to the crease and was firmly instructed by Dom to block his first ball (the last of an over). Kenny theoretically consented, then pounded said delivery high and far over mid-on, and continue with this strategy for a few overs.
Dom meanwhile had steadily made his way into the 60s, which combined with the firepower at the other end meant we had kept the required rate to a manageable 5 an over. With 70 still required, Dom missed a straight one and set off a batting collapse that looked to make victory impossible. But Jeremy steadied the ship, shoring up an end and another important partnership with Sohail got us over the line with two wickets and plenty of overs to spare.
Four in a row, eh.
May 21st - Pelicans - Away Win !
As can be the way when defending a low total, we had gone from cruising to victory, to looking like throwing it away. A rallying call from the skipper; a new strategic field set; and a double bowling change did the trick. Their strike batsman heaved a Dom offie to long off and Haroon Rauf charged in and took an excellent high catch. Ben came back on and immediately nipped out his fourth wicket and numbers 10 and 11 managed to miss a couple of straight, slows ones from Dom and victory was ours.
Another excellent team effort, another win against the odds and a third victory in a row, we could get used to this.
May 14th The Lee - Away Win !
A memorable victory away from home this week. We travelled the couple of miles to the Lee, with two debutants in the side, Waq and Aaron, one assumes their matching beards is coincidence, rather than a new selection policy. We won the toss and chose to bowl, news which was received gleefully by the oppo skipper, he who laughs last and all that...
We didn't bowl badly, nor field badly, nor make any strategical errors. We struggled though with the limited overs rule of bowlers being restricted to eight overs, and more so with some hideously ugly and brilliantly effective middle order slogging and slashing. The Lee looked set for an imposing 250 plus score, until Waq and Sohail pulled things back towards the end and we restricted them to 226. Credit to Kenny and Fiddy too for good control and to take pace off the ball, Dom debuted some off spin to reasonable effect.
The Lee's opening bowling spell was a barrage; both were quick, one was banging it in short, the other hurled down chin high beamers. Henry and Dom were obturate and pounced on any misdirected delivery they could, to try and stay near to the run rate. At 20 overs we were 109 without loss, oppo moral broken and a good foundation for our aggressive middle order to come in and 'express themselves', as younger TMS commentators would say.
And so it came to pass. Dom fell soon after drinks, but Will, Waq and Fiddy all followed with useful and brutal cameos. Henry was still going, anchoring the innings beautifully and when Nick joined him only handful of runs were required for victory and for Henry's hundred. Trouble was we were in the penultimate over. Henry selflessly instructed the on-strike-skipper to finish the match and for the second week in a row, Nick did just that.
To chase 226 is a fine achievement, and to do so against this depth of bowling attack, even better. Hats off to clean and powerful striking by the talented Waq and Fiddy at the end, but Henry's innings was a very special, match winning one. 99 not out though, jug evasion.
|May 7th Chiltern Crusaders - Home Win !|
The first home fixture of Nick's captaincy ended in a close fought win for Hyde Heath. We chose to field first and our four man, all seam attack did us proud. Luke and Stanley shared the new ball, tested Chiltern's top order and were unlucky not to take more wickets. These whippersnappers made way for the experience and guile of Jeremy and Sohail, both theoretically making tentative returns to arm turning over...not so you'd notice, they shared eight wickets between them! Sohail delivered his leg stump yorkers seeming at will to take five wickets, three of which were 'bowleds', and two in two balls. Jez took three wickets with tight lines and variations of pace, including a stunning slower ball that looped past a heave-ho-ing batsmen to nudge off stump.
The team's fielding was excellent, particularly Spencer in the covers who must have saved 20 runs, cleanly snapping up some full blooded drives that would have raced to the boundary otherwise. We were set 155 to win.
Our reply started watchfully, Dom and Matt had chosen not to net this winter and their footwork showed signs of rust. Matt played a trademark Sims square drive that rattled to the ropes, before receiving an unpleasantly good straight delivery which bowled him. So to the Heath engine room, where talent and lusty blows abound, in Luke, Spence and Kenny Holt. All three were directed to take their time and play themselves in and all three tried to hit a 12 year old leg spinner into the trees and all three tried in vain. 30-4.
The situation called for a wise old head, and Jez was just the man. He joined Dom and together they ran hard, and played measured innings to add 70 to the total. Dom reached his half century but a good diving catch saw him off soon after, with 50 still required for victory and overs closing in. A mix up between the skipper and Jeremy ended in Jez being stranded half way down and run out in the 20s. The importance of his stabilising knock, added to his three earlier wickets made him a standout for Man of the Match. Sohail joined Nick and the way these two bat, run rate was never going to be an issue, three overs of brutal fours and sixes from both men saw us within touching distance. Alas, Sohail fell and Liam 'Boycott' Harrison strode to the crease. With only two runs needed Liam uncharacteristically tried to score! But the match was appropriately ended by new captain, Nick, to smash the winning runs to complete his first victory as skipper, in his first home fixture. We hope to see many more.
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