Harberton v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 15 Sep 2019 at 1.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 4 wickets

Match report A Song of Ice and Fire

Noon had been the hour appointed for Fraser to meet his father for a lift to Harberton. Happily, thanks to this new-fangled mobile telephone technology thing with which we are all blessed, Fraser received a reminder call from Duncan while still only ten minutes late. "Ah, yes" said Fraser. "Twelve, not twelve-thirty." And so it came to pass that the delayed Duncan was not standing there when a ball from Mark Hailwood's first over took a gentle edge and looped though the vacant (not to say non-existent) slip cordon. Would it be one of those days?

Now, anyone who has been trapped in the corner of an alehouse or the passenger seat of a car driven by him will have heard two tales from Mark. To be fair, neither of them are tall tales. The first is that of his hat-trick at Ashburton, the second is of his "unplayable" spell at Harberton. Both of these deeds may be receding into the mists of time, but stories are powerful and perhaps Mark was inspired on this day by his own story. In a miserly spell, Mark took two wickets, thanks to excellent catches by Krupakar (doing a great Ben Stokes impersonation) and Duncan the Delayed, daringly diving forward to a difficult chance.

Meanwhile, Ben Youngman was equally parsimonious but not so fortunate. "I blame the field placings" he declared during the tea break, "but I'm resigned to that sort of thing."

Next came the spin attack of Messrs Power and Chave (jnr). And the wickets kept coming. The runs did too, particularly in a late onslaught by Harberton captain Noah Tobias. In time, as is the way of things, his innings, and that of his team, came to an end when newcomer Matt Crawford took a well-judged catch on the very edge of the mid-wicket boundary.

Matt Crawford, a newcomer? It was pointed out to me that Matt was the only member of this particular Erratics team not to have played at least 100 games for the club. 86 is close to 100, you might say... but for today Matt ranked as a newcomer.

I have experienced long, long afternoons in the field at Harberton, with the home side having chosen to bat. I remember both bitingly cold ones and bakingly hot. Mid-September it may be, but today was of the latter kind and it was a joy to be out in the beautiful Devon countryside playing a great game of friendly cricket - one that was also enjoyed by a number of spectators some of whom passed through and others who stayed. One of these was a certain Stephen (I failed to get his surname) who had played for the Erratics in 1996. A new member of University of Exeter staff, he hadn't been keen to play his one and only game for us, but David Salter had insisted. Leaving the field injured, this had turned out to be his very last game. He remembered a certain Chris Cook as having been a "very capable batsman". [Perhaps the S. Cooper of this match:]

Capable batsmen were what we needed against an excellent Harberton bowling attack. That selfsame Chris Cook, 23 year later, opened with Martin Wright who held out stubbornly. It was in the eleventh over that Martin scored his first runs, throwing off the shackles with an edge for four runs, but critically our opening pair stayed together and accumulated, Chris eventually grinding out another 50 for us.

Thanks to time gained by bowling 10-man Harberton out early, we could afford to advance at a glacial pace in the burning heat (ice and fire...). Slow and steady was our progress. We simply had to avoid an Erratics batting collapse. Such collapses are not unheard of, after all.

Eventually, our openers were winkled out, but that served only to bring in first Krupakar, who accelerated nicely, and Greenhorn Matt who also "got on with it" until bowled by an absolute pearler.

With about 10 overs remaining of the final 20 the required run-rate had stood at about four. This was higher than had been achieved consistently at any time of the afternoon, but it was still eminently within reach of a determined side with wickets to spare. We did lose a few, but the outcome wasn't really in doubt and we duly won when Fraser atoned for his sin of lateness with a six, with more than 3 overs remaining. Hooray!
But some notes of caution: Harberton has ten players, we had eleven. This helped us bowl them out early, so we gained time - time that we needed. They achieved their score in 35.2 overs. It took us 43.3 overs to chase that total down. Respect is definitely due to our opponents.

I have to say, in conclusion, that this was one of the most enjoyable afternoon games I can remember being involved in. Sure, winning helps, but it's not the most important thing. The quality of the cricket all round was really good. That helps too, and it matters. It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful setting. Yes. All those things are of consequence, but they can all count for little if the game is not played in a good spirit. This really was a happy game of cricket, thanks not least to the leadership and game management of the two captains and, I would like to express my admiration for the way in which Noah led his side, by cheerful example as well as some excellent cricket.

In fact, I have to say "thank you" to everyone who was involved, players of both teams, tea-providers, and spectators. It was definitely the best way to spend this particular day.

Jonathan Kirby

Harberton Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 9 wickets
141 (35.2 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Mark Hailwood9.0230215.003.33
Ben Youngman8.012600.003.25
Phil Power9.2249412.255.25
Fraser Chave9.0338219.004.22

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
2nb 6w 8b 3lb 
for 6 wickets

(43.3 overs)
Martin Wright Caught  6 1
Chris Cook Caught  52 6
Jayakrupakar Nallala Caught  36 6 1
Matt Crawford Bowled  8 1 2
Duncan Chave Lbw  0 1
Jonathan Kirby Not Out  3
Chris Ferro Bowled  10 2
Fraser Chave Not Out  7 1 1
Ben Youngman  
Mark Hailwood  
Phil Power  

Harberton Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
T Heath11.032000.001.82
F Porter10.032137.002.10
C Cooper11.3048224.004.17
N Tobias5.021000.002.00
M Mclement3.001400.004.67
D Norris3.0117117.005.67