Sunsets v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 07 Oct 2018 at 12.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 41 runs

Match report And so it was that the Erratics’ long, hot summer of 2018 – one that saw, by my count, the club complete 48 fixtures – came to an end with a convincing win against our old friends the Sunsets, played at the Coaver Club in weather that can be fairly described as more that of ‘late-summer’ than ‘early-autumn’.

On joining the Erratics and gaining access to the treasure trove that is the website, one of the first things that struck me was the club’s willingness to play at times of the year when few dare. Indeed, this season has seen me break my personal record for ‘latest game’ thrice. Nevertheless, on today’s evidence, it seems as if the Erratics have it right, and the rest of the cricketing Northern Hemisphere wrong; this was not so much a day of “mists” as one of ‘mellowness’, to mangle Keats. And for this reason, despite the early start, on winning the toss, skipper Hailwood had no problems opting to bat first on what looked an artificially hard and bouncy Coaver Club deck. Openers Pullan and Forrester demonstrated that the wicket was as true as it looked (I think!!!), looking (or maybe ‘feeling’???) comfortable against a decidedly useful opening attack of Creer and Billington. That was until Creer cleaned up Forrester with a ball that, on the basis of our post-match discussion, did just about everything. This brought in Williamson (Danny not Kane) at no. 3, though on the basis of his recent form you could be excused for confusing the two (hmmm… actually…) Anyway, these two continued to tough it out well against sustained accurate bowling from the Sunsets, Williamson in particular demonstrating an attitude akin to that of Gandalf on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm (I shall refrain from quoting – there you go Nick…)

Having given the keeper a trial run a couple of balls previously, Pullan eventually ran past a well-flighted delivery from their left-arm spinner, departing for another ‘bloody 30-odd’ (actually only 29). This brought in veteran middle-order batsman Kirby, who had mentioned to someone prior to the game that he had an Erratic landmark looming… The details of this, however, had been lost, which added a further (I hasten to add, unrequired, but we’ll get on to that) element of excitement to his innings. Suggested numbers ranged from ‘10,000 career runs?’ to ‘500 in October?’ It turned out that, prior to today’s game, Kirby required 28 more runs to go past 500 for the season. Now, I know this is not quite Boycott at Headingly 1977, but Kirby achieved his landmark in style, making a 40 ret. that was characterised by some lovely timing and his usual expert placement.

He had, by this time, been joined by another Erratic veteran and statistical sensation (geddit?) Ferro, who replaced Weiler, who had replaced Williamson, out stone-dead LBW for the second time in two weeks… Anyway, Ferro and Kirby proceeded to run the opposition ragged, as they always do, until Kirby’s retirement brought George ‘Armani’ Greaves to the crease, who gave as good an audition in this game to be hailed as the ‘Erratics’ Botham’ as can be imagined. Truly, his 20-ball (!!!) 40 ret. was an awesome display of cultured aggression, which was littered with pugnacious drives on the up, one so much so that he popped his shoulder in the process. A lovely Ferro clipped 6 was another highlight of a glittering partnership. This all ensured that the Erratics set the Sunsets the imposing target of 180 to win off 30 overs.

In reply, the Sunsets’ openers Mason and Halkyard were greeted by some decidedly un-erratic opening bowling, provided by Messrs. Walding and Rutherford. However, credit where credit’s due, these two looked excellent for their partnership of 61, only broken by the retirement of Mason for 22. Halkyard also went on to retire for a 41 that was punctuated by an array of well-timed cuts, pulls and drives. Mention also ought to be made of Forrester’s excellent work behind the stumps early doors. Despite the hard yards of the opening attack, at 72-0 (12) the game was very much in the balance. Time for the skipper to bring himself on and carpere ludum. This he did, delivering a characteristically canny spell of 2-30, which could have been even better, had Molins held on to a tough one at first slip… At the other end, Greaves, buoyed no doubt by his performance with the bat (in the manner of all great all-rounders), was sending down rockets, one of which rearranged Billington’s stumps for a duck. By this stage, the Erratics had very much broken the spine of a top-heavy Sunsets’ batting line-up, prompting skipper Hailwood to do what every friendly-XI captain does and ‘see how the slow stuff fares’. And today’s slow stuff, ‘served’ by Messrs. Weiler and Pullan, was very slow… The batsmen must have thought tea had come early, but wily Weiler made the most of his chance, picking up a ridiculously cheap 3-16. The closing stages of the game contained several comic moments, including a Weiler moon-ball bouncing so high that it was given as a no-ball for no-one’s quite sure what, two horrendously mangled run-out attempts from Williamson and yours truly, and yours truly being no-balled for – of all things – throwing (rest assured, I shall be heading to a Loughborough testing centre over the winter – yes, I know that sounds dodgy – to ensure that I can continue my role of very occasional declaration bowler next season.)

But at the end of all that the Erratics had won, by 40 runs, taking our September-October run to eight wins on the bounce. Tea was taken post-match (the highlight of which was the spicy chicken wings, the subject of a contender for one-liner of the season from Paul), pints were drunk, farewells were said, before we all headed off into the autumnal gloom. I for one, as I sit here in my whites (still), taking in the last draught of summer (drinking a beer), cannot wait for next April!

Ben Pullan

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 9 wickets

(30.0 overs)
Ben Pullan Stumped  29 6
Andrew Forrester Bowled  5 1 1 1
Danny Williamson Lbw  17 3
Jonathan Kirby Retired Not Out  40 5
Martin Weiler Caught  4
Chris Ferro Caught  34 2 1
George Greaves Retired Not Out  40 7 1
Nigel Rutherford Caught  1
Nick Walding Run out  4 1
Mark Hailwood Not Out  1
Paul Molins  

Sunsets Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Sunsets Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 7 wickets
139 (30.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nick Walding6.002500.004.17
Nigel Rutherford6.013000.005.00
Mark Hailwood6.0130215.005.00
George Greaves4.0210110.002.50
Ben Pullan5.003000.006.00
Martin Weiler3.001635.335.33