Tedburn St Mary v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 11 Jul 2010 at 14.30
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 2 wickets

Match report Erratics 214 for 8 (Clarke 67)
Tedburn 210 (Weiler 6 for 31)

Won by 2 wickets (or by 1 wicket, given the fact that we only had 10 men)

Match Report: Peter Thomson

You can imagine the response of the journal editor to whom I submitted the following outline of a short story. ‘Too sentimental.’

Alfie’s Sunday

Alfie was a regular in the first eleven, but the captain hardly ever asked him to bowl. There were several other boys in the team who could propel the ball much faster than he could. But that Sunday things were a bit different. Nigel, one of the side’s best bowlers, had been rushed to the sanatorium with concussion two days earlier, and that meant that the captain was going to have to find someone unusual to bowl eight of the overs in the 40-over match. ‘Do you think you can manage four of them?’ he asked Alfie. ‘I’ll try’, gulped Alfie.

The score was 140 for 3, and, with fourteen overs still to go, things were looking grim. Most of the fielders headed for the outfield. They’d seen Alfie bowl before. But the captain called at least three of them in closer. His faith was rewarded. Twelve overs later the opposition was all out for 210, and Alfie had taken 6 for 31. It would be much easier for him to get a girl-friend now.

This was, in all honesty, an extraordinary game of cricket. I lost the toss, and the Tedburn skipper opted to bat. The ground there is very oddly shaped. One side of the wicket reaches out almost to Wiltshire: the other side, particularly where the pavilion is pitched, is within an easy spit of the square-leg umpire. As a result, it would be pretty simple to swing a cat by the tail, discus-style, over the roof of the pavilion from the bottom-end wicket, and you can sit outside the changing-rooms and sledge your own batsmen without even raising your voice. It’s difficult to set a field on a ground that shape, particularly when you’re a man short.

Local rules were fairly routine. 40 overs per side, 8 overs maximum per bowler. I opened with Gareth Oughton and John Nagle. Gareth was miserly (14 runs in 7 overs – five to begin with and two at the end), but it was John who got the first wicket, a steepling catch cupped by Martin Weiler at mid-off.

Our fielding throughout was whole-hearted. (‘Whole-hearted’ is how we describe the endurance of marathon runners who struggle on – uphill against the wind.) The ball followed Martin Wright and Al Brunt around: John Nagle and Gareth Oughton followed the ball around: with the exception of Matt Cook and (as mentioned above) Martin Weiler, we dropped the catches we did well to reach: and the score advanced inexorably. Matt bowled the Tedburn skipper with a superb googly. Phil Ellis, gallantly willing to bowl his eight overs despite the animadversions of his chiropracter, took a wicket in the end. (Well, actually he took another one next ball, but their skipper – new to the white coat – gave it not out, which can’t have been easy.) From then on, with three overs of light relief from a truss-fumbling Guy Clarke, it was all ‘Alfie’. He mesmerised them! His first wicket was typical. A fifteen-year-old lad had thumped his way to 80, when Alfie tossed a lollipop towards his pads. He could have hit it anywhere, but instead he swatted at it (like a baby in a carry-cot trying to make contact with a dangling mobile), and it rolled off his glove into mine. Alfie had taken four wickets by the time he’d completed the four overs I’d mentally allotted him, so I gave him two more from the other end. It was enough: two wickets in his sixth over brought the Tedburn innings to an end after 38 overs. 210 is a lot of runs, but it would have been much worse if it hadn’t been for a glorious spell of bowling! I didn’t much care what happened after that. My day was complete before tea.

Or, at least, I thought it was, but our innings was equally extraordinary. To begin with, and despite spasms of belligerence from the consistent Guy Clarke, we fell behind the asking rate. Half way through the 40 overs, we had less than 80. Guy’s dismissal (he had well over half our runs at the time) brought Matt Cook into partnership with Martin Wright. Recognising the weight of responsibility they carried, Martin and Matt refused to resort to bludgeoning their way through. Instead, they set about crafting a victory. We needed about seven per over when Martin was suddenly caught on the short boundary. Not to worry. Only three wickets down. But, while Martin was still doffing his pads in the pavilion, Matt was given out l.b.w. off an inside edge that was distinctly heard in Dunchideock. (This was, to be fair, the match umpire’s first mistake.) The run-rate slumped again. Then John Nagle crashed a four through extra cover and Al Brunt hit a majestic straight six. ‘Eight an over’, said Martin Wright to the world at large, ‘it’s still on’. The words were scarcely out of his mouth when Tedburn’s fifteen-year-old top scorer completed his five-wicket haul with a hat-trick: Nagle, Ellis, Weiler. 40 to get in 4.2 overs.

Al hits a stylish four, Gareth clubs another. (I’m improvising this – I haven’t got the scorebook with me.) 27 needed in 3 overs. Gareth is bowled by the first ball of a slow left-armer who (in an act of generosity by the Tedburn skipper) has been brought on to replace the teen-age ‘man of the match’. Al Brunt’s magnificent, but he’s carrying our last man – me. 21 needed off two overs, and the opening bowler’s back on at the top end. For some reason, he tightens up. Two big wides contribute to 14 off the over: even more significantly, Al’s dropped on the long-on boundary, and he’s due to face at the start of the last over. ‘No singles’, we agree. He crashes the first ball straight at long-off, and we don’t run. The next ball, he leg-glances beautifully, and we find ourselves running. Oh shit! Six to get, and I’m facing. This wasn’t meant to happen. But the slow left-armer dishes me up a long-hop which even Geoffrey Boycott’s grandma could have hit for four, and the next one is easy to turn for a single. I don’t know whether the shot Al played off the penultimate ball went for four or six. I don’t even know how many Al ended up scoring. What I do know is that he played a blinder.

So there you have it. A game in which all 21 players batted, 13 (or maybe 14) of them bowled, and the whole concluded with one ball remaining. What more could you ask for on Alfie’s Sunday?

Team in batting order: Guy Clarke, Andrew Forrester, Martin Wright, Matt Cook, Al Brunt, John Nagle, Phil Ellis, Martin Weiler, Gareth Oughton, Peter Thomson (w/k and capt.)

Tedburn St Mary Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 9w 5b 8lb 
for 10 wickets
210 (38.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Gareth Oughton7.0314114.002.00
John Nagle6.0032132.005.33
Matt Cook8.0043143.005.37
Phil Ellis8.0051151.006.38
Martin Weiler6.003165.175.17
Guy Clarke3.0026126.008.67

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
2nb 7w 8b 3lb 
for 8 wickets
Guy Clarke Caught  67
Andrew Forrester Bowled  6
Martin Wright Caught  29
Matt Cook Lbw  24
Al Brunt Not Out  46
John Nagle Caught  12
Phil Ellis Bowled  0
Martin Weiler Bowled  0
Gareth Oughton Bowled  5
Peter Thomson Not Out  7
N.O. One  

Tedburn St Mary Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.
Photos and video of Tedburn St Mary v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 11 Jul 2010 at 14.30


Martin 'Alfie' Weiler took 6 for 31 at Tedburn St Mary in 2010 and the Erratics won by one wicket with one ball to spare. 'It would be much easier for Alfie to get a girl-friend now.'


Al Brunt (who 'played a blinder' for his 46*) and Matt Cook score at Tedburn St Mary in 2010 when the Erratics won by one wicket with one ball to spare. Martin Wright waits to bat.


Guy Clarke (67) and Andrew Forrester (6) start the Erratics' nail-biting chase at Tedburn St Mary in 2010


Martin Weiler (left) and Martin Wright will the Erratics on in their nail-biting run chase at Tedburn St Mary in 2010


Martin Wright keeps the scoreboard ticking over at Tedburn St Mary in 2010. Erratics would win by one wicket with one ball to spare.