Harberton v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 20 Sep 2020 at 1.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 4 Runs

Match report What a win! Erratics at Harberton CC by Harry Everett

There are so many different ways I could start this report in what will surely go down as one of the games of the season…or decade…I am not qualified to decide that, but enjoy it massively is something that I’m sure the 22+ the supporters will all agree on.

Let me paint a picture for those of you (like myself before Sunday) who have never had the Harberton CC experience. Wiggle off the A38 towards Totnes-ish and enjoy some cracking country lanes before dropping into a tiny village where every lane seems to be lined with walls prompting the nervier drivers with wider vehicles to want to pull their wing-mirrors in. Pop up an even smaller, more cracking, now farm lane past field after field which you definitely could not play cricket in, until suddenly, hey presto you find a beautiful oval atop the hill with views over Dartmoor, which later hosts the setting sun.

Fraser won the toss and opted to bat in a time game, much to all the Erratics’ delight. The plan was to see where we were with two hours batting before tea, then one hour after tea the opposition (who would definitely be batting by this point whatever happened) could have 20 more overs to chase whatever we scored.

18-3 after 10 overs perhaps saw us taking the title ‘time’ quite literally into quite definitely taking our ‘time.’ When the skipper went for 15 after 15, we were 30-4 and our entire top four had been bowled. Club legend Chris Cook joined reporter Everett at the wicket, looking to consolidate then cash in off the weaker bowlers; a 79-run partnership did the trick nicely until Cook was run out for 42 by a direct hit from opposition captain Noah Tobias. In a weird quirk of fate Tobias said “Hello Harry” as I walked to the middle; embarrassingly I had no idea who he was until a few questions later it clicked.

(Long story, but…A lad a couple years older than me had asked me to help out an Exeter College XI, when I a 15 year-old, against Taunton School. The young cricketing badger that I was, was thrilled to see a certain Tom Abell’s name on the opposition’s scored sheet….he’d scored 100 in every school game that year so far…we got him out for 98! I took a catch, snicked Tom Abell’s bowling for one then politely gave the soon-to-be Somerset skipper my wicket as I was so in awe of him. Anyway Noah was my teammate in that game and we had not seen each other in the nine years since, so great to relive a special cricketing memory with him.)

Once Cook fell Harberton took pity on us and brought their local legend Neil on to provide some declaration bowling in hope of getting our score up beyond 150 to make a decent game of it. Donned in a black bucket hat, black glasses, a Primark t-shirt and Slazenger trainers, Neil was the epitome of village cricket legend whom everyone on the field loved to see playing the game. He had been a magnet in the field (though their may have been many cheeky singles pinched off him in the ring) and now bowled like Alex Lees did in that declaration tonkathon to James Franklin and co at Lords a couple of Septembers ago. Everett swung like a rusty gate, still struggling to hit Neil’s moon balls to the short boundary (such was their plan to bowl their worse bowler to the short leg side boundary to help us out) for 79* before tea rudely interrupted, then ultimately actually halted our innings on 171-7. I say rudely interrupted, as Neil was really enjoying his bowling and Somerset were doing alright whilst we were in the middle. Lo and behold we come off, and Ollie Sale doesn’t manage to turn into a useful death bowler and stop the Glosters scoring more than three off the last ball to knock us out of the T20 Blast. That’s the second negative Somerset link of the day then after the mirroring of the declaration bowling horrors depriving us of that 2016 County Championship.

The end of the tea interval saw a poignant moment for the Erratics. Facing towards the setting sun, where it is thought was the direction he lived, we had a moment’s silence, then applause for our fallen teammate Steve Berry who died peacefully the day before.

Perhaps thanks to Phil’s homemade banana cake, or inspired by Mr Berry? Our second innings started much better than our first. Rithvik bowled a cracking opening spell, bowling one opener and magnificently swooping and running out their number three in his follow through to have them 42-2. Yes scoring much faster than us, well above the rate after 10 overs, but we fancied we had more bowling options than them and no need for the Neil equivalent!

Arguably the funniest moment of the game came when their player-umpire called Emdad, not for a Mankad, but for a 24-yard no ball! Bowler clearly mystified, but perhaps too relaxed to complain, stood at short mid off I could not help but enquire as to how that was a no ball. “He bowled before he got to the box, before this line” he said, pointing to the popping crease. I politely gave a brief lecture on the rules detailing that if he did not break the return crease (which he clearly did not) then he can bowl from as far back as he likes really, it is to his loss bowling from 24 yards, and Kieron Pollard has regularly done so in professional cricket as his form of change-up slower ball (to various success levels).
Bizarre moment of the day ticked off, and we continued.

Just as Rithvik appeared to be tiring with two wides and a four-ball in his final over, one last slash at a wide one from their burly opener saw Phil Power rise like a salmon from second slip and claim a crucial catch to force them to 55-3, game back on? Their middle-order could still play mind, and despite a magnificent start from Phil with just two coming from his first two overs, 4 and 5 got going and started to tee off. 68-3 at drinks, with 20 overs to go, I’d have given them a 65% Wasp to take the win on a dry batting track where 171 should never have been enough on a dry field with one particularly short boundary.

But ‘it’s never over ‘til the fat lady sings’ as the old saying goes. Despite bats 4,5,6,7 all looking like they’d taken the game from us and could win it with plenty of overs to spare, somehow we came back into it again.

By this point Fraser had tried five bowlers including himself and turned to the two top-scoring batsmen of our innings to try their luck with ball in hand. Everett duly endured the wrath of Cook by dropping a diving chance running around from long on and then bowled some lolly pop deliveries himself to be 1-25 off his first three overs, though he’ll claim the wicket was a well calculated arm ball to have their top-scorer well stumped by Krupps for 42. An ingenious captaincy decision saw Fraser take himself off from the long leg-side boundary end and allow the reporter to repair his figures and continue his non-turning, slow tempters with more leg side leverage. The plan worked and somehow I romped home with 5-33, the exact same figures I’d taken in my first ever 5-wicket haul in any cricket, for Sandford, at Cornwood the previous weekend!

But of course, even that was not that simple, there were further drops and misfields, more twists and turns, more horrendous Harberton batting that had Tobias pulling his hair out. With five to win they still had two wickets in hand, but two great captain’s catches running in from long on saw a double wicket maiden finish the game with just an over remaining. And after all that, poor old Neil was stuck up the non-strikers end, didn’t get to face a ball whilst the so called 10 cricketers before him gave it away when all they had to do was milk the spinners along the ground!

A truly remarkable game, played in joyous spirits throughout, a perfect testament to Steve Berry, particularly from Rithvik twice appealing from deep square when no one else muttered a decibel.

The Ship Inn saw the greatest post-match pub attendance of the Erratics season complete with complimentary chicken nuggets, spuds and chips. Great chat into the still warm night was also fuelled by a jug of Devon Red and yes, sorry Fraser I have failed to complete the match report without mentioning myself, three years of Sports Journalism training could not allow me to leave holes in the report and I was told I had to mention my dropped catch(s) and the pub jug anyway.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 7w 6b 2lb 
for 7 wickets

(37.0 overs)
Fraser Chave Bowled  15 1 2
Jayakrupakar Nallala Bowled  0 1 1
Nigel Rutherford Bowled  2
Richard Lindsay Bowled  4 1
Harry Everett Not Out  79 5 3 1
Chris Cook Run out  42 5
Martin Weiler Caught  4
Matt Crawford Bowled  2 1
Phil Power Not Out  5 1
Emdad Aziz  
Rithvik Gutha   1

Harberton Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Harberton Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
6w 2b 3lb 
for 10 wickets
168 (37.5 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Rithvik Gutha8.0030215.003.75
Emdad Aziz6.002400.004.00
Phil Power7.002700.003.86
Nigel Rutherford6.0113113.002.17
Fraser Chave3.001800.006.00
Harry Everett4.503356.606.83
Chris Cook3.0018118.006.00
Photos and video of Harberton v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 20 Sep 2020 at 1.30pm


Captains old and new: Fraser Chave chats to Richard and Meg Hitchcock.


A minute's silence to mark the passing of Erratics legend Steve Berry


Erratics assemble


The scoreboard only tells half a story...


Annie and Duncan Chave enjoy a picnic