Uplyme v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 17 Apr 2022 at 1.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 5 Wickets

Match report Lyme Pickle
by Jim Thomson

The end of this Erratic season coincides with the centenary of the publication of Eliot's The Waste Land, a mystical masterpiece that has messed with the minds of millions. It's famous opening -- "April is the cruellest month" -- will no doubt make perfect sense to those hardy few at Spreyton later this week. This game at Uplyme, though, was played under sun and in the teeth of a frosty wind, more redolent of a later line: "the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief". The home team batted first, and for us fielders, it was the warm April sun that was dominant. For the scorers and spectators, the wind was in charge.

Nigel Rutherford and Ben Youngman took the new ball, with the former bowling his seven-over allocation straight through and finishing with the impressive figures of two for ten. None of the Lyme top order found an answer to his movement and accuracy on a suet pudding of a wicket. Ben found the going (at a horse race, it would be described as "heavy") tougher and soon gave way to debutant, Anuj Tiwari, who was playing his first game in Devon. He bowled at a lively pace, but started off bowling too short and then overcorrected before settling into a good length and dismissing Mark Batey. Mark had been playing nicely and looked the most comfortable of the home batters. He played quite a role in his own dismissal, dragging a ball from well outside off on to his own stumps.

Fraser Chave, our skipper, replaced Nigel and his first ball went for six, spiralling about 30 yards off a leading edge to the shortest part of the ground. The four later in the same over was an authentic pull and travelled a lot further. In fact, it was only quick action from Chris Ferro, grabbing the ball as it bobbed down the River Lim, that saved it ending up in Lyme Bay. After that over, the score stood at 79 for three off 15 overs. With 20 still to go, and the accelerator being pressed, a daunting score looked on the cards. Harry Everett replaced Anuj. He dropped a fiercely hit caught-and-bowled chance from Steve Batey before accepting a much gentler offering from Louis Strong. He also had Steve Batey stumped by Jonathan Kirby. At the other end, Fraser picked up the wickets of Bruce Maltby -- yorked after a swashbuckling 32 -- and opener Charlie Moss for 37. Moss's innings, built on solid defence, firmly hit offside shots and one brutal six into the playground, lasted over an hour and made it possible for the more attacking batters to play with freedom.

With numbers eight and nine -- debutant Marcus Dennis and club stalwart Derek Wellman -- at the crease, and the score on 115 with more than ten overs left, it was time for a bit of consolidation ... especially as it turned out that the batting cupboard was now bare as tenth man, Jack Lamb, wasn't due to arrive for another hour. I replaced Fraser at the clubhouse end and managed to bowl a ball so wide that, even on this day of most generous umpiring, it was called and signalled as a wide. The eighth wicket fell, Dennis playing over a straight looper, and Wellman batted on alone. It was a brief last-man stand, however, as he hit the second ball aerially and within reach of Matt Crawford's go-go-Gadget arms, perishing for 12 just as he'd started to accelerate.

Chris Ferro and Martin Wright opened the reply, facing Louis Strong's nagging left-arm orthodox and Steve Batey's medium-pace seamers. It wasn't the sort of start that has become the standard in the professional limited-overs game. Indeed, the over-by-over comparison shows that, in the first 25 overs, it was only the first, fifth and 11th that saw us reach even half of the home team's mark. The over-by-over worms show this stodgy start. To be fair to Chris, Martin and the top order, the fields set weren't power-play fields, but at eight for one after six -- Martin had played over a Strong delivery -- we couldn't be said to have been making the most of the short boundary on one side. Siva hit his first and fifth balls for four before expertly picking out sub fielder Anuj at cover. Anuj walked off a few overs later when Jack Lamb finally turned up, and Siva (who had introduced his fellow PhD student to the Erratics) suggested that the East Devon Way, the footpath that runs across one edge of the ground, was going to be his best way back to Exeter. 38 miles to Exmouth and probably a lovely stroll. Anuj declined the offer and, donning his hoodie, sat down to watch the new arrival bowl to Chris and new batter Harry. The hoodie. Yes. Apparently the brand is a big name in India, but Spunk Sports isn't really a label that's made it over here. A few of us wondered whether we could get the company to sponsor our new ground (Spunk Valley has an appealling ring to it), but Anuj thought it unlikely. Childishly, we started to discuss what Spunk Sports might actually be. I could only think of a game allegedly played at boys' boarding schools called Soggy Biscuit. I won't describe the game beyond the single rule that the loser has to eat the biscuit.

Out in the middle, things had dried up. Lamb and Seward were offering little and Ferro and Everett were taking even less. The building of every innings requires a foundation; and every foundation needs a hole to be dug. When Harry was eventually put out of his misery for a 26-ball five, I suggested to him that his innings had been that hole. He agreed and immediately cheered up when he saw Anuj's hoodie. At 46 for three off 21, the required rate was over six and a half an over. Three overs later, it was over eight. And then Fraser shifted gear. He hit two fours off Bruce Maltby and then a huge six and a four off their skipper, Sam Farrow. Game on. Lamb had Fraser caught skying one to midwicket and Matt Crawford came in to join Chris. Ferro had also accelerated and passed fifty with a sweetly struck four.

Matt too was on a mission. 40 was needed off the last four. Almost half of those were scored off the 32nd over, 14 off Matt's bat and five off the cap that Sam Farrow had left behind the stumps while he bowled. Seven came from the next, the returning Steve Batey's sixth, and six and Crawford's wicket from the 34th. Eight needed, Ferro facing. They ran two from the first, with Nigel Rutherford's knees making it look like an all-run six, a single from the second and from the third. Chris was facing on 65 with four needed from the last three balls. He hit a single out to Louis Strong at long on. Well, it should have been a single, but Strong was weak and, focussing on trying to ensure there was no chance of two, he allowed the ball to pass underneath him and dribble agonisingly over the boundary.

He and his colleagues took defeat and disaster with a smile. In the Caribbean, there is a verb "to lime", which means to take it easy, have fun and not worry about anything because the sun is shining. Maybe there's a Devon verb "to lyme" that means much the same only a bit colder.

Jim Thomson

Uplyme Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
9w 6b 2lb 
for 9 wickets
138 (30.5 overs)
J Seward ct  F Chave B. Rutherford 2
C Moss ct  Siva B. F Chave 37
S Farrow b  Rutherford 6
M Batey b  Tiwari 15
B Maltby b  F Chave 32
S Batey st  Kirby B. Everett 4
L Strong ct  & B. Everett 1
M Dennis b  Thomson 15
D Wellman ct  Crawford B. Thomson 12
J Lamb  

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nigel Rutherford7.021025.001.43
Ben Youngman5.011700.003.40
Anuj Tiwari6.0047147.007.83
Fraser Chave6.0024212.004.00
Harry Everett4.001929.504.75
Jim Thomson2.501326.504.59

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 2w 2b 1lb 
for 5 wickets
Chris Ferro Not Out  69 117 10 1 58.97
Martin Wright b  Strong 2 13 15.38
Sivaraman Subramanian ct  sub (Anuj) B. Seward 10 20 2 50.0 1
Harry Everett lbw  Lamb 5 26 19.23 1
Fraser Chave ct  Maltby B. Lamb 20 14 3 1 142.86 1
Matt Crawford b  Lamb 21 14 2 1 150.0 1
Nigel Rutherford Not Out  1 3 33.33
Anuj Tiwari  
Jonathan Kirby   1
Ben Youngman  
Jim Thomson  

Uplyme Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
L Strong7.0219119.002.71
S Batey6.422700.004.05
J Seward7.02919.001.29
J Lamb7.011836.002.57
B Maltby3.001600.005.33
S Farrow4.004300.0010.75