Mount Edgcumbe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 24 Aug 2014 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 68 runs

Match report Your starter for 10: A cricket bat and ball cost £110 when bought together. The bat costs £100 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? Answer quickly, please.


On a chilly, gun-metal grey afternoon in August, where better to be than Plymouth? And if all weather forecasting systems confidently predict a solid wall of rain to be moving towards the city, promising a soaking that will last an entire afternoon, why not spend a couple of hours driving there to play cricket? Of course, what you’ll ask yourself if you’ve got other things to do with your life, is why you would bother making that two-hour trip, each way, spending some time sheltering in a wind and rain-swept pavilion in between. It doesn’t sound appealing, does it?

However, even the Erratics’ arch-pessimist, Greg MacQueen sensed a flicker of hope in the gloom. Or was it just a miserable sense of duty? Whatever, in spite of the augurs, various car-loads of Erratics set off for Mount Edgcumbe and were rewarded with a complete 35 over game that we even managed to win. Our first win in August. The rain did eventually arrive, but it was really only a spot of drizzle and it only began after we’d finished and were enjoying a tea that had been delayed in the interests of cricket first. Boo to the forecasters!

The tea, by the way, was superb. The only problem with it was that the plates were too small. As I recall, everything was home-made, and it was absolutely delicious.

Was it Richie Benaud who said that “captaincy is 90% luck and 10% skill, but don’t try it without the 10%”? Captain Martin Wright’s luck was in today, for he contrived a game in which all Erratics got involved: players 1-7 all got a bat, player 8 kept wicket ("interestingly") and players 9-11 shared 19 overs and 7 wickets between themselves. What’s more, if you don’t count 2 exceedingly difficult half-chances, including a magnificent diving one-handed attempt by Mr Pessimist at slip, we only dropped one catch all afternoon, and took several spectacular ones. These included an amazing overhead two-hander by Varun Kothamachu near the boundary, a couple from Chris Cook covering a lot of ground before using those buckets that he has on the end of his arms, and a “brilliant” (I’m told, ahem…) one-handed catch by the wicket-keeper to dismiss the Mount Edgcumbe danger man off some Pessimistic bowling.

Catching had not been much in evidence when we were batting. In fact, I wonder if this might be some kind of record: Dr Ollie Creighton was dropped no fewer than 8 (EIGHT) times by the opposition. Ollie would prefer to view this as just 7, because one was more of a miss – the ball dollied up in front of him about a third of the way down the wicket whereupon wicket-keeper, bowler and cover point all ran to it and then let each other have a go for it, with the result that it hit the ground no further than a couple of feet from any of them. The other chances were all spilled conventionally, to increasing levels of hysteria from all on the field. If anyone has been dropped more than 8 times in a single innings, please speak up.

Some fiery opening bowling had initially restricted the Erratics to 8 for 2 from the first 7 overs, with Hailwood and Thistlethwaite falling to the pace of Gourlay. Daniel did also mention the distraction of the machine gun fire coming from the war re-enactment that was taking place in the valley below. Slowly but (in the case of Wright) surely, Wright and Creighton built a platform, taking us to 67 from 15 overs with Wright starting to pull like a Premier League footballer before he succumbed to Lock. Creighton was LBW to Gray, so when Mark Phillips was caught, becoming the 5th and final wicket to fall, this was the only catch that Mount Edgcumbe managed to hold all afternoon. Mark was clearly unlucky! The stage was now set for a final flourish from Messrs Ferro and Cook, who added some 60 runs in the final 6 overs, setting Mount Edgcumbe 192 to win. An incident of note towards the end involved one of the many boundary fielders crashing backwards through the fence as he tried in vain to prevent a Cook boundary; happily no injury.

Mount Edgcumbe set off on the run-chase at a confident pace. The required rate was only just over 5 per over, so it was far from improbable. Varun, returning from a 4 week absence, bowled well and with pace, taking 2-27 off 5 overs, though also picking up a warning for a beamer. At the other end, Fraser Chave wheeled away for fully 9 overs, taking the important wicket of Way who had imposed himself on the game with increasing confidence until caught for 41. Mark Hailwood replaced Varun and swung the ball beautifully, then suprising Tunbridge with one that nipped back at him.

This, however, brought Andy Ware to the crease. I’m told that if he bats for about half an hour, we generally lose the game. No hope here, then. Time for some Pessimism. Greg MacQueen’s first loopy leg-break to him was pulled tantalisingly close to the outstreched fingers of Chris Ferro, just behind square, but a few balls later an attempted sweep resulted in a top edge somehow caught behind and a few of us heaved a sigh of relief. Mount Edgcumbe had until now been more or less up with the run-rate, but maybe the match had now turned?

Notwithstanding the occasional boundary, MacQueen continued to bamboozle and take wickets, ending with 4-31 from 5 overs, while Hailwood did likewise from the other end, finishing with an impressive 3-21 from 9 overs. He might have had a fourth, but in the absence of DRS and Snicko, only the keeper and 2 slips knew that De Viell had been caught behind. We had won by a comfortable margin.

So, nil desperandum. Don’t place all your trust in weather forecasters. In spite of all we had been led to expect from the weather, we had a hugely enjoyable game of cricket this Sunday afternoon.

I can now answer the question posed at the beginning of this report. It came up as Varun and I were discussing “Thinking Fast and Slow” with Mr Arch-Pessimist as he was kindly driving us to Plymouth earlier in the day; we had wondered if the match report might have to involve topics other than cricket since it had seemed that little or no cricket would be played. The answer is that the ball cost £10. Or rather, that’s the answer that most people come up with if they give a quick answer. It’s wrong. You’ll have to work out why.

Jonathan Kirby

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 5 wickets
Mark Hailwood b Gorlay 0
Daniel Thistlethwaite b Gorlay 0
Martin Wright b Lock 32
Ollie Creighton lbw Gray 27
Chris Ferro Not Out  62
Mark Phillips ct Ware 8
Chris Cook Not Out  31
Jonathan Kirby  
Greg MacQueen  
Fraser Chave  
Varun Kothamachu  

Mount Edgcumbe Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Mount Edgcumbe Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
124 (28.0 overs)
Hutson b Kothamachu 17
Way ct Chave 41
O'Brien-Kelly b Kothamachu 4
Tunbridge b Hailwood 9
A.Ware ct MacQueen 13
Way ct MacQueen 0
Gray ct MacQueen 3
Gourlay b Hailwood 11
Lock ct MacQueen 10
S.Ware lbw Hailwood 0
De Viell Not Out  0

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Varun Kothamachu5.0027213.505.40
Fraser Chave9.0044144.004.89
Mark Hailwood9.012137.002.33
Greg MacQueen4.403147.756.64