Branscombe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 02 Aug 2009 at 2pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 77 runs

Match report Match Report: Chris Mellett

Following the festivities of the previous day, nine intrepid Erratics set out on the first ever trip to Branscombe. Clearly the bribes and inducements at the disposal of the selector and captain were woefully inadequate. Curiously the journey was accompanied by bright sunshine, recently in short supply and perhaps a portent of good fortune.

After negotiating the Sunday drivers on narrow lanes en route to the picturesque village and managing to find space in the village hall car park packed out by visitors to the annual Pie Fayre, the Erratics emerged to find a lush pitch nestled within a wooded valley. Admittedly it was a football pitch, but that was soon remedied by the hard-working Branscombe players who had the goalposts down and stumps up in a jiffy. It should be noted that the valley setting does place certain constraints on the shape of the ground, such that although the square boundaries are a regular distance, the straight boundaries are distinctly shorter than average.

Before the game could get underway it was necessary for Branscombe to explain the playing conditions. Everyone would have to bowl, batters retire at 25 and there would be no lbws. What was unexpected was the short straight boundaries propagating the rule that if you clear the boundary and the ball cannot be found quickly enough (this is rather arbitrary) then you are out. If the ball is found straight away then you gain 6 runs. This would require some careful shot selection. Fortunately Branscombe had only mustered nine players too, so at least we were equally matched on that front.

Having won the toss, Branscombe put the Erratics in to bat. Ferro and Mellett opened the innings against another innovation – the white ball – a very effective device where there are no sightscreens. After a watchful start gauging the unfamiliar pitch and unfamiliar ball Ferro soon got into his stride, taking full advantage of the short boundaries with a series of dismissive straight drives.

At the other end Mellett was taking full advantage of the no lbw rule. Ferro soon reached 25no to retire, bringing Phil Ellis to the crease. Ellis (P) was helping to keep the scoreboard ticking over when he cracked a straight drive back towards the bowler who managed to get a fingertip to the ball before it cannoned into the stumps, running out the hapless Mellett for 21 who was backing up looking for another quick single. Ellis (P) departed soon after for 9 when the power of his shot was inadvertently transferred into his calf muscle causing it to explode and the ball to pop gently into the hands of the fielder. Weiler strode to the wicket in determined mood, desperate to erase the memory of the previous day’s golden, which was achieved in some style with a number of lusty blows.

Meanwhile Kirby was steadily accumulating runs at the other end, though not achieving full value from his off-side strokes through the long grass of the outfield. Some inspired running between the wickets saw Kirby and Weiler at one point run a combined distance of 88 yards to gain 1 run. Kirby’s solid innings of 25no saw him become the second retiree.

Price then demonstrated a flair for improvised shots, hitting the ball onto the wicketkeeper’s boots to bewilder the fielding side and guiding a Chinese cut for 4. Weiler’s entertaining innings was brought to an end on 24 when he played on. Oughton then became the first Erratic to take on the short straight boundary, resulting in his dismissal “lost ball” and requiring a small boy to wade into the stream to fetch it. Price finished on 10no while Orpen watched from the non-striker’s end. Erratics 132 for 4 from their 24 overs.

The interval was dominated by discussion of Phil’s fitness, whether a substitute fielder would be required, whether Simon would ask Linda to substitute for Phil. It was decided that the optimum course of action was to sit Phil on a chair on the long off / long leg boundary (perhaps ‘long’ is the wrong adjective, but you get the idea).

Oughton and Orpen opened the bowling against the Branscombe top order who started in belligerent fashion, striking several boundaries and causing the Erratics total to perhaps look a little shy. However a lofted shot into the undergrowth was quickly followed by the umpire’s extended index finger and Erratics had made the breakthrough. The other Branscombe opener continued to take the Erratics bowlers to task, reaching his retirement score with a particularly well executed 6 that he aimed at a tree trunk such that it bounced back into the ground and he was not out. This exposed Branscombe’s middle order who were no match for Erratics’ solid fielding unit.

A wicket apiece followed for Oughton, Orpen, Price and Max Ellis. This was complimented by slick fielding from the Oughton/Kirby combination and a direct hit by dead-eye Weiler to effect a couple of run-outs. This brought back the Branscombe opener, who had it within his gift to win the game alone. Erratics brought on Mellett, who served up a feast of buffet bowling to the Branscombe opener. One towering stroke was pouched smartly by Weiler right on the boundary, but was ruled to be 6 by the Branscombe spectators after some debate. However, the opener took one bite too many from the buffet, launching the ball into the wood to end his and Branscombe’s innings on 55 all out. Ellis (M) was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 3-1-3-1.

A special mention should go to Ollie, the young Branscombe batsman, who displayed good sportsmanship in walking when caught behind very early in his innings. An example many senior players would do well to follow.

It was noted that Simon left his boots behind on the field at the end of the game, whether this was a symbolic gesture I will leave to the reader’s judgement.

And so to tea, a satisfying spread of pastry and cake without a sandwich in sight. Apparently Nick Birbeck would approve.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
7w 7b  
for 4 wickets
Chris Ferro Retired Not Out  25
Chris Mellett Run out  21
Phil Ellis Caught  9
Jonathan Kirby Retired Not Out  25
Martin Weiler Bowled  24
Penny Price Not Out  10
Gareth Oughton Caught  0
Simon Orpen  
Max Ellis  
A.N. Other  
A.N. Other1  

Branscombe Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Branscombe Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1w 1b  
for 10 wickets
55 (12.1 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Gareth Oughton2.0015115.007.50
Simon Orpen3.0014114.004.67
Penny Price3.0011111.003.67
Max Ellis3.01313.001.00
Chris Mellett1.101100.009.43
Photos and video of Branscombe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 02 Aug 2009 at 2pm


Jonathan Kirby (left), Max Ellis, Chris Mellett and Phil Ellis are briefed on the local rules on the Erratics' first visit to Branscombe in 2009


From the boundary (20 yards from the pitch) as the Erratics bat at Branscombe in 2009


Gary Pinnock (left) explains the local rules to Chris Ferro on the Erratics' first visit to Branscombe in 2009


Chris Mellett opens the batting at Branscombe in 2009


'Weiler strode to the wicket in determined mood': Martin Weiler at Branscombe in 2009


Openers Chris Mellett (left) and Chris Ferro before our inaugural match at Branscombe in 2009


'The power of his shot was inadvertently transferred into his calf muscle causing it to explode': Chris Ferro helps Phil Ellis off the field at Branscombe in 2009


The short boundaries at Branscombe in 2009