Erratics Cricket Club Erratics v Painswick on Thu 01 Sep 2005 at 2pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 5 wickets

Match report by Ed Thomas

With a flotilla of tents assembled (or mostly so) outside the Anchor Inn at Epney, the Erratics travelled first to the serene Cotswold village of Painswick, where a golden day shining on the warm green pastures of England’s heart welcomed the Erratics for the first match of the 2005 Gloucestershire tour.

After the somewhat reduced nature of the fixture last year, this was the first time that the village hosted a full match as part of the tour itinerary. Added to the ranks of more hardened tour veterans were Erratics newcomers John Carroll and Ed Thomas, and a guest appearance was made by Steve Durr, a former school-friend of Carroll’s from Sheffield. Nothing was known of Durr’s talents, but his fame did not need to precede him, as it was obvious from his starry, Beckham-like silver shoes and his uncanny resemblance to the new England showman Kevin Pietersen that this was no ordinary cricketer.

Captain John Somers inquired whether he bowled, and Durr simply shook his head; asked whether he batted, Durr sagely nodded, mimicking an understated, but perfectly straight cover drive with his left hand. First impressions seemed therefore to be confirmed: here, batting for the Erratics, was Pietersen’s double.

The game was to be limited to 40 overs for each side, and Somers elected to bat first on what seemed to all to be a good pitch; his decision may have been partly influenced by the fact that not all the Erratics team had arrived by the start, with David Salter led astray by the Stroud roundabout despite having reached Epney before anyone else.

The innings was opened by Carroll and Molins senior, with Molins junior waiting in the wings. The two made a steady, if stolid, start. Molins’ stroke-play was starting to blossom when Carroll inexplicably played down the wrong line to a ball from Webb and was bowled for nine. His surprising inability to see that ball may have been influenced by his latish arrival at Epney, which prevented him from downing a couple of Adnams first to get his eye in.

Molins and Kirby pushed the Erratics scoring forward with some lusty blows, until a majestic drive to deep midwicket from Molins unerringly found Painswick’s smartest fielder, who moved to his right to take a deceptively simple catch. With Kirby and Cook the runs continued to flow, before Kirby took an ambitious swipe at Golding and was comprehensively bowled.

Three down, but now the stage was set for Steve ‘Kevin Pietersen’ Durr, who, to great expectations, walked out to bat at number five, the position which "K.P." has made his own for England. Excited Erratics heads turned to bemusement as Durr, in a most un-Pietersen-like manner, and leaning down on his bat in a most unusual crouching stance, played himself in by launching a series of extravagant, but inconsequential forward defensive strokes, which caught the eye of every spectator. This was not to be K.P.’s day, for at the end of this awesome display of stonewalling the unthinkable happened and the man with the silver shoes missed the ball with his bat and was bowled.

Explanations were urgently sought: was his mind on other things? his latest promotion deal, perhaps, or another £50,000 ear stud? Or, to judge from his unorthodox batting style, could one bear to think that this was not the Pietersen double that all had hoped to see, but an impostor who had not touched a cricket bat since his school days.

After this disappointment, the Erratics had to fall back on more trusted ways of advancing the total to something like a reasonable target. Paul Gladding grafted his way to four before he was given out to a ball that, he grumbled, must have pitched outside the leg stump. At the other end, however, Chris Cook kept the score moving, advancing his own run-making in his own accustomed way from a jungle of singles long enough to frustrate even the most numerate scorer to a succession of boundaries that helped the tally reach respectable proportions.
The increased pace of his scoring was also explained by a need to compete with Orpen, who, replacing Gladding, produced an effective and much more Pietersen-like display of powerful hitting and outstayed Cook at the crease, the latter becoming the third Erratics batsman to lose his stumps that afternoon, when he fell to Morgan, by some way the youngest bowler in the Painswick side. Now joined by Somers, Orpen took the final score to just below the 180 that had initially been envisaged.

With more or less 4.5 an over needed by Painswick, their openers made a brisk start. Gladding and Orpen were struck to all parts of the ground by the openers Cook and Goddard. Carroll replaced Orpen and again confounded everyone by dropping an apparently straightforward return catch off his own bowling. This time, however, he quickly made amends by contriving to run out the same batsman in the next over with a rapid throw to the wicket-keeper, Molins, who threw down the stumps.

Then ‘Ginger Biscuit’ Cook and Barnard put on a good stand, which gradually dampened Erratic spirits. The Erratics’ fielding started to suffer despite courageous efforts. First, David Pearson, diving spectacularly to save a boundary, fell onto his right shoulder and arm and lay there writhing in pain; the injury was to put pay to his bowling for the rest of the tour. Harry Molins proved a doughty substitute, but rarely had the chance to show his fielding prowess, as his diminutive figure remained adrift from most of the action, on the deep cover boundary.

A chance was offered to deep midwicket: Orpen moved towards it to take the catch, but, as the ball swirled away from his grasp, exclaimed loudly in desperate frustration ‘No way!’. In this passage of play, Durr, let down by his batting, revealed that comparisons with Kevin Pietersen were fully justified, when he leapt to take a catch at long-off, only to recoil in extravagant horror at the pain of the ball hitting his hand. As with Pietersen himself (some observers ascribe his catching errors to his ‘electric hands’), the catch went down and the ball astray, but "K.P." nursed his sore hand with consummate and ostentatious care. The partnership was eventually ended when Somers brought on Cook from the far end, who promptly bowled Barnard.

Erratic spirits were then further lifted when something remarkable occurred. Wilkins lofted Cook to wide long-on, and the ball, swirling in the air, appeared to elude Kirby in much the same way as it had earlier escaped Orpen’s clutches. This time, however, Kirby, whether in hope or expectation, stuck out a hand, in which the ball obligingly stuck. The catch, and the celebrations which exceeded it, will live on in Erratic folklore.

Thomas came on and dismissed Hogg, caught at cover point by Orpen. However, he was taken off after three overs, deemed too expensive, and replaced by Somers, who nobly sacrificed his own bowling average to make sure that the match was finished even sooner, somehow conceding 30 off just two and a bit overs. Most of these were not the work of ‘Biscuit’ Cook, but of Higgins, whose brisk innings appeared to show his determination to hit nothing but boundaries, which proved successful, as he fell for 28 (seven 4s) to a catch at long-off off Chris Cook. There didn’t seem to be much batting to follow, but by then the game was almost up. Now his nemesis from the first innings, the young Morgan, came in to bat and with ‘Biscuit’ Cook steered Painswick to victory.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
3w 19b 2lb 
for 6 wickets
John Carroll Bowled  9
Paul Molins Caught  24
Jonathan Kirby Bowled  25
Chris Cook Bowled  67
Steve Durr Bowled  0
Paul Gladding Lbw  3
Simon Orpen Not Out  21
John Somers Not Out  4
David Pearson  
Ed Thomas  
David Salter  

Painswick Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Painswick Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 5 wickets
182 (25.2 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Paul Gladding5.013400.006.80
Simon Orpen2.001900.009.50
John Carroll5.012300.004.60
Chris Cook8.0046315.335.75
Ed Thomas3.0021121.007.00
John Somers2.203000.0012.86