Mount Edgcumbe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 25 Aug 2019 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 2 Wickets
It's a long way to travel to play a game of cricket, but on a hot, sunny day in August, the trip from Exeter to Mount Edgcumbe is more than worth it. As far as I'm concerned, it's the most beautiful of the grounds we visit. It's positively magical - how else to explain that Plymouth appears to resemble San Francisco, albeit with just a little imagination? Add friendly opposition and a sumptuous tea to the splendour of the setting and the wonder of the weather and surely an Erratic would rather be nowhere else?
Perhaps so, but not on this particular day. Why did it have to be this day?
The truth is, I had had to prise myself away from the television in the front of my house. Stokes and Bairstow were batting, and an improbable run-chase seemed increasingly possible. Dang! Listening to TMS on the drive to Plymouth kept me in touch with events at Headingley, and although "increasingly possible" turned en route to "increasingly unlikely", part of me still wished I could have been slumped on a sofa getting value from the month-long pass to Sky Sports that I had bought through Now TV. Heroic run-chases were, however, the order of the day. You already know about Ben Stokes and Jack Leach, so now you need to hear about events at Mount Edgcumbe.
The Erratics batted first. Duncan Chave and Ian Hooper had to battle hard against some very tight bowling. But they endured and eventually prospered. After reaching an excellent 50, Duncan threw off the shackles, hitting thirteen fours and two sixes before holing out on 76. Partnered by Simon Burrel (kindly deputising at the last minute for an injured Chris Ferro), Alex Thomas , Martin Wright and Jonathan Kirby, who all showed how good the bowling was, Ian battled on to score 32, when he was run out unfortunately when a straight drive by Kirby was diverted onto the stumps by the bowler.
This brought David Harvey to the crease. After sizing up the bowling for a few overs, he announced to Kirby, "right, time is running out, so I'm going to destroy the next over". Destroy it he did, hitting four fours, a six, and running two byes - having till then been a bit reluctant to take the second run or the sharp single that had been offered him! This carnage was enough to prompt skipper Fraser Chave to call a slightly premature close to our innings, after 37 overs. A further over or two might have led to a thoroughly battered opposition and a much less sporting tea-time declaration. We had scored 200, and that seemed enough.
Like the Australians at Headingley, we had gone into the match with just four bowlers. Unlike the Australians, I'm not sure that selector Mark Hailwood had had any choice about this, as the number of Erratics available to play had fallen from 16 to just 9 or 10 the day before the game. Were these drop-outs watching cricket rather than playing it, I wonder? So it was that Mark and Fraser, along with Dominic Prosser and Ben Youngman, toiled through 41.4 overs between them. All four took wickets, with Mark leading the way with a mammoth stint of 17.4 overs, including four maidens and three wickets for 87 runs, which took him to 200 career wickets for the Erratics.
Mount Edgcumbe's opener struck the first ball of the innings for four and continued in that vein until having to retire hurt - shin splints compounded by a nasty blow just below the knee while fielding eventually made it too painful for him to run. But well though our bowlers may have acquitted themselves, Mount Edgcumbe kept scoring runs. Wickets did fall, but a late partnership (I'm sorry I don't know the names) took them within striking distance of our total. With three overs to go, their opener returned to the fray and duly struck the necessary runs in boundaries. We had lost with 1.2 overs remaining, and two wickets still to get.
Was there a fumbled run-out? I don't think so ;) Was there a dropped catch. Yes. Was there injudicious use of DRS? Well, hardly... Did losing matter? Well, it always matters a bit, but when the game is this closely-contested, in a good, friendly manner, when the setting is just about perfect, and when all concerned were somehow basking in delight at England's win at Headingley, then the answer is "no". It was a hugely enjoyable game of cricket and a great way to spend an afternoon.
The more difficult question is this: would I have preferred to have been watching television?
A.N.Other1 was Simon Burrel
A.N.Other2 was David Harvey
Match report by Jonathan Kirby
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
1nb 8w 18b 4lb
for 5 wickets
Mount Edgcumbe Bowling
No records to display.
Mount Edgcumbe Batting
1nb 11w 11b 4lb
for 7 wickets
204 (41.4 overs)
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling
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