Sunsets v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 03 Oct 2021 at 12.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 5 Wickets
Harry Everett reports...
This time last year I was at an incredibly soggy Edgbaston reporting on reduced 12 over games a day later than T20 Finals Day was supposed to take place.
Coaver Club, Exeter>Edgbaston…?! Well the season’s final game definitely matched finals day for last over drama! I must thank the Erratics selectors for somehow picking me as player (and often reporter) for only the most exciting, dramatic games in my short Erratics career. This the perfect curtain closer to a year that saw your reporter barely play due to illness, isolation, injury and a selfish brother choosing to get married and have a stag do both on summer weekends-how dare he!
Enthusiastic as always, 11 Erratics were whited up and ready in the glorious noon sunshine before Sunsets had enough for a first drop. Waiting topics of conversation went from “can a slip fielder perform a stumping” to football, to rugby, to the weather. The latter a recurring discussion point throughout the afternoon.
Eventually Tom Lammonby’s most feared opposition bowler, the infamous Devon Dumpling Bernie, arrived with his now equally keen, just an hour late, troops.
It was raining at this point, but after profuse apologies for the start time confusion, Bernie told us we should get cracking for a 30 over game. The new start time dictated as; whenever skipper Mark Hailwood finished his Guinness and would be ready to take the new ball.
Whether it was the Guinness, the skiddy astroturf, or the white ball coming out of a white arm clad in all white, I could not tell you, but Mr Hailwood bowled one of his most prolific opening spells. Attempting to slog sweep a seamer first ball of the match, whatever pace and however short the boundaries are, is a bold strategy and deservedly saw Hailwood take the top edge himself as it slid back out of the clouds amidst gallons of rainwater.
Did you know there were so many Erratic experts on the faeces of the fox or the dog? No, me neither. As I found my mid-off position littered with copious of both (or either?!) I managed to miss a ball of Oscar’s over practising leaf chopstick skills to clean some of the brown (and even red?!) stuff off of the outfield-much to Fraser’s amusement.
A lot of cricket was played in rain, but it did occasionally get so heavy Bernie’s mackintosh was not enough to keep the umpire dry. And to the Erratics benefit-each rain delay seemed to generate immediate success on the resumption; Hailwood the main benefactor to the tune of 3-4 off three overs with two maidens-in fact just one ball was scored off during his 18-ball opening spell!
The Sunset scorer was in her element sketching ducks alongside the Sunset’s top order’s names.
Too selfless a skipper, Hailwood took himself off to allow Matt Crawford and Dom Prosser to join the wicket-taking list, reducing Sunsets to 43-6 after 15.
Serious Erratics domination at the halfway point, on a postage stamp of a ground-we were going to bowl them out for under 100 here surely!? But being a friendly, skipper Hailwood then requested yours truly to “come on and toss up a few for a couple overs.” Due to further rain delays and reducing the game to 25 overs per side, I ended up bowling five overs straight and becoming a death bowler alongside Nigel Rutherford! (Nigel still slightly pacier than distant relative Hamish Rutherford’s part-time spin which took its maiden first-class wicket at the Oval last week in his 115th game!)
Having barely played a shot before the rain break, Howard Smalley (40) and Neil Shillaheer (37) (two men I spent the summer coaching with at Topsham St James CC) took a liking to our bowling, smiting Nigel for 18 in one over making him wish he had stayed at the bar drinking in the dry!
A smashing seventh wicket partnership (69 in no time) saw three genuine top edges fly for six, including one over cover!
It was not until the final over I managed to sneak through the two of them either side of my most embarrassing moment of the day.
When a new batsman comes in you generally bring the field in, especially when they are only 15 and less than five feet tall, but I remarked to Mark I’d leave it for the last two balls, being a friendly and they still only just past 100 in 29.3 overs…Cue first ball this cheeky bugger reverse sweeps me! I definitely had not coached young Smalley that shot! Cue the offended fuller delivery to bowl his partner next ball.
115 off 30 looked very chaseable whatever weather we had to deal with, but the early losses of in-form Siva to a wicket maiden first up, then Fraser strangled down the legside saw a brief stop to the drinking of the Erratics middle-order-there was a job to be done.
Opening bowler Oscar Cammack managed 15 batting at three before the highest partnership of the innings (69) came as Andrew Forrester and Martin Weiler appeared to be batting out for the draw. With less than five overs left and the rate required well above 10s, Martin opted to keep charging their quickest bowler-grateful for his Erratics woolly jumper protecting his ribs from one charge-made full toss. When Martin was caught behind for 20, Andrew was edging towards retirement and 28 was needed off less than three overs.
Martin’s departure prompted Andrew to strike his first Erratics six to earn retirement on 42*, not the ideal time to have two new batsmen at the crease! 19 needed off 11.
Dom and Harry tried to up the running, the former falling in the process.
Unintended death-bowlers from the first innings were then united in the middle where I was less than best pleased to be informed that Nigel “can’t really run”, apparently his morning yoga, hot tub and tea combination had not had the desired affect that morning!
Anyway, I managed to get a trio of boundaries through midwicket and then the expected one wide in the over to clinch it slightly underwhelmingly-especially as they had not been running wides to deep fine leg in the first innings!
Winter well all, looking forward to a hopeful Covid-free Christmas do already!
for 8 wickets
115 (25.0 overs)
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
4nb 11w 5b 1lb
for 5 wickets
Retired Not Out
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