Erratics Cricket Club Erratics v Marldon on Sun 11 May 2014 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 61 runs

Match report Report by Mark Hailwood:

It didn't promise to be a historic afternoon by the side of the A376 as I reflected at tea on ideas for my match report. Batting first, we had battled our way to a fairly modest looking total of 113. Marldon were in high spirits – they were good fun all day in fact – and looked as though they had enough strong shoulders between them to chase that down with some big hitting. Still, at least the apocalypse – which had been scheduled to arrive at 5pm – had disappeared off the rain radar, so a result looked likely, even if a dramatic contest did not. Given that Marldon's off-spinner went by the nickname of Frodo, perhaps I could flesh the report out with a tenuous Tolkien theme? Yeah, that would suffice, I thought.

Your humble narrator need not have worried, for what followed from the Erratics bowling made the feats of Sam and Frodo look ordinary. Was there a secret ingredient in Varun's spicy veg samosa-style toasties perhaps (a 'Toastmosa', Danny suggested) that powered the remarkable events that followed? Whatever the explanation, we witnessed something extraordinary after we retook the field. But first, back to the beginning.

A short, sharp, cold shower greeted the openers – Hailwood and Krupakar – as they made their way to the middle to start the building work, and the discomfort provided by the weather was added to by some excellent early bowling that zipped through off the surface with sideways movement and variable bounce (I always say the opening bowling was particularly tough when I open, of course, but still – it was good). Hailwood flattered to deceive, scoring a boundary and a two off the first over (before promptly going back into additional mode to grind out a further 10 runs over the next hour and then holing out to midwicket trying to accelerate). Krupakar's stay was rather shorter – bowled first ball by a left-arm around the wicket delivery that kept coming back down the slope. It was sign of what was to come: the first of 14 bowled dismissals in the match, and the first of 9 ducks.

It didn't get much better for the next 20 overs either, with Erratics wickets falling, like the showers, intermittently, regularly and softly. There was a modicum of resistance, with Danny Williamson making his first Erratics runs, including his first boundary, and Dan Thistlethwaite playing a few well timed shots, but by the time the drinks came out – looking suspiciously like a jug of celebratory lager for the bowling side – we languished at 45 for 7. But, the Erratics tail was not finished (an Unfinished Tale?), or really a tail at all, for Nigel Rutherford (28 not out) and Greg MacQueen (29 – runs that is…), in at 8 and 9 respectively, both showed their calibre, playing watchfully at first before striking some lusty blows over the boundary rope. Their partnership (Fellowship?) of 59 from 15 overs dragged us up to a rather more respectable 113 by the time the last few wickets went down. Hardly a mountain to climb (something more like a hill in Hobbiton than Mount Doom, say?) but something to bowl at.

So, finally to the historic bit. Let's start with the headline: after 3 overs Marldon were 0 for 5. And no, I'm not putting the wickets and runs the Australian way round. With Varun firing missiles down the slope, and Gareth producing Gandalf-esque wizardry from the other end, our opening pair ripped through Marldon's top order in such a manner that all the Orcs in Mordor could hardly have matched such destruction (ok, I'll drop that now). Gareth's first over of the season was a triple-wicket maiden – leaving him three balls to work with as he tries to find his groove over the coming weeks – and Varun was simply unplayable, with both getting the ball to move around, beat the batsmen and clatter the stumps. Gareth finished with figures of 8 overs, 5 maidens, 9 runs, 3 wickets, and Varun 6 overs, 3 maidens, 4 runs, 3 wickets. It was, at the risk of sounding a bit Mark Nicholas about it again, one of the best spells of opening bowling anyone could remember – for the Erratics or otherwise.
Inevitably, things quietened down a bit after the explosive start, and young Jamie Penny, who had also bowled very well for Marldon, dug in and began to play a few shots, whilst 'Wilf' Williams hung tough at the other end in support (illogically, playing and missing at what felt like 20 odd consecutive deliveries from Gareth proved an effective survival strategy). Still, with the sun making an appearance and the sky powder blue, and all those batsmen back in the hutch, all seemed to be going swimmingly. But Marldon had crept along to 40 for 6 by the drinks break, not far off our own score at the same stage, and needing less than 4 an over to overhaul us. Perhaps they too had some muscle hidden down the order?

Captain Rutherford took decisive action, bringing himself into the attack. The poor batsmen must have been hoping for some easier pickings when Gareth was finally bowled out, but Nigel was, as-ever, frugality itself, allowing only 5 runs from 6 overs. Greg also turned in some solid overs replacing Varun, but still the wickets tally stayed stubbornly at 6. So the skipper called on your humble narrator to send down a few tempting floaters, and the breakthrough finally came, with 'Wilf' eventually playing across a straight one. The resistance then crumbled, and a further burst of 3 wickets in 4 deliveries from your humble narrator (who, admittedly, was feeling rather less humble after this) polished Marldon off for just 52 all out. Penny remained unbeaten for a gutsy 32.

So, it had turned into an emphatic victory and a historic afternoon after all. At 0 for 5 there were, no doubt, some thoughts about Marldon upstaging Wirral CC's recent headline grabbing 3 all out – but we've had our 5 minutes of Sky Sports fame already, and we were all more than content to savour this remarkable spell of opening bowling in the pleasant evening sunlight, rather than the media spotlight.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
10w 5b  
for 10 wickets
Mark Hailwood ct Williams 16
Jayakrupakar Nallala Bowled  0
Jonathan Kirby Caught  3
Mark Phillips Caught  0
Danny Williamson Bowled  6
Daniel Thistlethwaite Bowled  8
Paul Molins Caught  2
Nigel Rutherford Not Out  28
Greg MacQueen Bowled  29
Varun Kothamachu Bowled  2
Gareth Oughton Bowled  4

Marldon Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Marldon Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
52 (0.0 overs)
Rowsell b Kothamachu 0
Beasant b Oughton 0
Gorc b Kothamachu 0
Washbrook b Oughton 0
Roberts (c) b Oughton 0
Penny Not Out  32
Reilly b Kothamachu 2
Williams b Hailwood 6
Beasant ct Hailwood 4
Lancaster b Hailwood 0
Pragnell lbw Hailwood 0

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Varun Kothamachu6.03431.330.67
Gareth Oughton8.05933.001.13
Greg MacQueen4.002100.005.25
Nigel Rutherford6.02500.000.83
Mark Hailwood5.011142.752.20