Ottery St Mary v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 14 May 2023 at 1.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 2 Wickets

Match report Match report by Martin Wright

A gorgeous spring day finds Ottery a picture, complete with white picket fences, lime green oaks and thin cirrus clouds skating over a rare blue sky.

Perfect weather for cricket, and so something of a first for this soggy season.

It was a first, too, for Erratics: the first time we’d played before an international audience: thanks to Ottery’s livestream video, our antics were enjoyed by a global crowd across Europe and Asia. ‘Crowd’ might be overstating it a touch, as it consisted of Anuj’s Mum and cousin in Hyderabad and his Dad in Athens.

Still ‘n’ all, when we sell the overseas rights to Star Sports for lakhs and crores of rupees, we’ll look back on this day as being the start of it all…

So to the toss: well, not so much a toss, as an inveiglement – Skipper Hailwood being persuaded to bat first by a clearly very persuasive Ottery Skipper. (I wasn’t in earshot of the conversation, so can only imagine the tactics used…. “Lovely little man-bun you have there, Skip… Terrible shame if you slipped on the boundary rope and fell on those shears, knowarramean?”)

And so Duncan Chave and I took to the crease. Perhaps mindful that it was a day of firsts, I decided to make my own contribution. The first delivery I faced, courtesy of a generous-spirited opening bowler Lovell, was a rank long hop, which clearly merited being planted high over square leg and into the field beyond.

The fact that this was not its eventual destination brought Chris Ferro to the crease. A somewhat crocked Ferro, it must be said, but only when he ran – or rather, staggered – between the wickets was his encrocklement apparent: otherwise, he entertained our international observers with his usual smorgasbord of precise defence and flowing cover drives. At the other end, Duncan, circumspect at first against some fine bowling from Buckland, gradually opened up, and together they took Erratics into the sunlit uplands, until Chris’s wonky hip achieved what Ottery’s bowlers had failed to do, and sent him limping to the pavilion, a brave retiree.

Jonathan Kirby joined Duncan, all characteristic hustle and bustle, keen to make an impression from the start. Scoring was never easy though: Ottery had a varied but talented attack, with excellent spells from Kerr and Lovell, and special mention to young Olly Triner for some very promising leg spin. They were backed up with some tight fielding and strong arms, while a still-moist outfield further slowed proceedings.

Duncan, growing in confidence, dealt with the latter element by launching the ball clean over the rope: a lovely pick-up six was followed by one slashed over point. Going for a repeat, he eventually perished for a fine 60, to a smart catch on the boundary. Mark Philips hit a couple of fine drives which sadly found sharp fielders, before falling LBW. At 112-3, we were wobbling. But the distant sound of cheering from across the world greeted the arrival at the crease of the reassuring figure of Anuj Tiwari.

Together with Jonathan, he took the attack to Ottery, sending his third ball soaring over the square leg boundary (“that’s what I should have done”, murmured your beducked correspondent). Jonathan timed some of his trademark laps; Anuj launched himself savagely at anything loose, and their scampering between the wickets was such that, with just a couple of overs to go, Jonathan was calling for water, and the defibrillator was put on standby.

Anuj perished going for glory, Martin Weiler sparkled briefly before being run out, and Erratics closed on what all agreed was a competitive 175.

Over tea, Matt Crawford pondered the question of how many sandwiches were too many. The consensus was that the figure was always two less than you’d already eaten. And so, amply fortified, Erratics took to the field.

Jon Perkin and Mark Hailwood hit their straps from the off, keeping the Ottery batters contained, but the early star was (of course) our international icon Anuj, pulling off a stunning stop and runout of the dangerous looking Lovell. He followed up with a sharp catch to dismiss Karr, and when Jonathan behind the stumps snaffled Jackson off Jon, Ottery were reeling somewhat at 23-3.

They recovered well thanks to Kevin Brandom’s 43, but Erratics stuck to their task: Matt bowled Triner and Paul Carr trapped Gleeson leg before, then followed up with an excellent delivery to clean up the dangerous looking Brandom. Now Ottery appeared to be on the ropes at 80-6.

Our fielding, while lacking some of the youthful athleticism (international icons excepted) of our opponents, was brave and committed, exemplified by Mark ‘No Pasaran’ Philips, regularly intercepting potential fours on the cover boundary and keeping them to singles. Jonathan displayed a Forrestian tidiness behind the wicket, including a neat stumping off Matt.

But all this endeavour was in vain when Ottery’s John Buckland came to the wicket. Striking the ball powerfully from the off, he was ruthless on anything over-pitched. His dual with Anuj, steaming in from the pavilion end, was one to savour, as were his superbly arrogant pick up shots over the legside boundary. Anuj stuck to his task, but couldn’t break through. The wickets clearly had to come at the other end, and while Duncan, shaking off his own encrocklement to send down a testing three overs, accounted for Tom Miskin, Samuel Harlond held firm, while Buckland did the necessary damage.

As the curtain came down, there was one last intriguing ‘what if?’ possibility. Jonathan appealed for a catch behind the wicket of Duncan, just as Harlond drifted briefly outside his ground. Our keeper, confident he had his man caught off an edge, didn’t feel the need to whip off the bails. Had he done so, or had his appeal vindicated, Ottery’s No. 11, Bob Cope, would have been due in. Only he was out there in the middle, umpiring. Was he willing to bat? And if so, would we, like the gentlemen we are, have waited diplomatically for him to go off and pad up? Or would we have cruelly appealed for a ‘timed out’?

As it was, the moment passed, and Buckland sealed our fate the following over.

But as our international audience surely grows, such intriguing debating points will doubtless be the stuff of Monday morning conversations between the chaiwalas of Hyderabad, the tzatziki sellers of Athens, and more besides…

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
3nb 7w 14b 7lb 
for 5 wickets
Duncan Chave ct S Harlond 60 98 5 2 61.22
Martin Wright ct M Lovell 0 1 0
Chris Ferro Retired Not Out  20 63 1 31.75
Jonathan Kirby Not Out  24 42 3 57.14 1 1
Mark Phillips lbw T Miskin 0 7 0
Anuj Tiwari ct A Lovell 38 27 2 2 140.74 1
Martin Weiler run out (S Harlond) 2 5 40.0
Matt Crawford  
Jon Perkin  
Paul Carr  
Mark Hailwood  

Ottery St Mary Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
M Lovell6.0117117.002.83
J Buckland7.011800.002.57
E Kerr5.002300.004.60
A Lovell8.0123123.002.88
O Triner4.002100.005.25
S Harlond4.0116116.004.00
B Cope4.001200.003.00
T Miskin2.0024124.0012.00

Ottery St Mary Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2nb 12w 5b 1lb 
for 8 wickets
179 (35.2 overs)
A Lovell run out (A Tiwari) 2
R Jackson ct J Perkin 13
E Kerr ct M Hailwood 5
K Brandom b P Carr 43
M Gleeson lbw P Carr 8
O Triner b M Crawford 2
J Buckland Not Out  65
M Lovell st M Crawford 20
T Miskin b D Chave 0
S Harland Not Out  1
B Cope  

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jon Perkin7.0027127.003.86
Mark Hailwood7.0124124.003.43
Matt Crawford8.0038219.004.75
Paul Carr5.0031215.506.20
Anuj Tiwari5.203800.007.13
Duncan Chave3.0015115.005.00