Heads & Tails v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Wed 12 Jul 2023 at 6.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 14 runs

Match report Erratics v Heads & Tails
at Newton St Cyres

Report by Jonathan Kirby

We Erratics play our own version of Bazball.

I hope I now have your attention. Please read on…

As “any fule kno”, we do not have a win-at-all-costs mentality, but we all embrace the principles of friendly cricket as explained in brief by Peter Thomson in his foreword to that wonderful tome “The Erratics – Unicorns Rampant, 1995-2019”:

“The first principle is that the game is for the enjoyment of the players, and the second principle is that the result of the game is of the utmost unimportance.”

Bazball has its own principles, including some which definitely overlap with those of friendly cricket:

1. No negative chat
2. No fear of failure
3. Praise – even for the little things
4. Embracing mental freedom and fun

Nobody is forcing us to play cricket! It’s meant to be enjoyable. It’s meant to be fun! This is more important than winning or losing. After all, if we play an enjoyable game and lose, our opponents are quite likely to want to play us again. That’s a good thing.

But this business of winning or losing can be problematic:

No Erratic known to me enjoys being on the wrong end of a one-sided drubbing. Neither do I know anyone among us who enjoys lop-sided game in which it’s obvious from early on that we will win. We might also swear by the principle that the result is of the utmost unimportance. But it can sometimes feel hard to be on the losing side.

We might say, as Peter Thomson also wrote, that the ideal game of cricket is one in which any of four results is possible at the start of the last over.” I think it’s important for us all to recognise that a game that reaches such a nail-biting climax is a victory in itself, and that even if we lose, we are still winners.

I know. I know. It’s hard to enjoy losing. This is partly an exercise in persuading myself of this notion.

Here are a couple of recent examples:

As captain when we played Milbury’s at Teign Valley, I got it wrong because I set us to chase early a total that I assessed as relatively formidable. We reached the target with nearly five overs to spare, and the opposition apologised for not giving us a closer game. We had won too easily. And there were Erratics who had not had a bat, but who might have done. Winning proved not to be as enjoyable as it might have been.

On another day, after losing by 4 wickets in the final over of an evening game with Cheriton Fitzpaine, captain Krups was a little despondent because he felt that if he had handled the bowling and batting differently, we could have won. Perhaps we could, but his success as captain was that the game wasn’t over till the final over of the match - and every Erratic had had opportunities to be involved. There was much to celebrate!

And so, at last, to the matter in hand – our game with Heads & Tails at Newton St Cyres yesterday evening:

It went to the final over, when we failed to get over the line. It was a distant line, admittedly, but three results were definitely possible when that over began.

We lost, but under Lee’s captaincy we might therefore also be said to have triumphed:

Heads & Tails batted first. We restricted them to 136, despite fielding only 9 players for the first 14 overs and only 10 for the final half dozen. This was also despite me having to bowl 4 of those overs. Most readers will know that I only tend to bowl when we need to give runs to the opposition, or when there’s not exactly a lot of choice in the matter, as was the case here. At my pace, our shortage of fielders meant it was not too hard for the batters to find the gaps between our boundary fielders. (I bloody well should have had an LBW appeal upheld though.) But the talent of our other bowlers was such that the Heads & Tails total did not disappear over the horizon.

So here’s another thing: the range of skills among the Erratics means that it’s possible for a captain to find contributions that balance out. Those whose bowling is too friendly (like mine) can play alongside those whose deliveries are less easily dispatched to the boundary. And those batters whose strike rates are really high can buy time for those who bat more slowly.

Last night, our innings began with a required run-rate of 7 per over. By the half-way stage, that requirement had reach 10 per over. But then Anuj struck a remarkable 31 off just 13 balls, and he was also joined at the party by Krups, Lee, and Duncan, with the net result that at the start of the final over it was technically possible for us to win. We didn’t, but all 9 (all 10) of us had decent involvement in the game.

Gah! We didn’t win. But if you play our version of Bazball, and if all results are possible in the final over, you’re not going to win all the time. Remember (I say to myself again) that winning isn’t the prime objective. Remember also that even when the situation appears dire (100 required from 10 overs, with the opposition fielders camped on the boundary) it can still be retrieved because we have a great set of players.

We didn't win. But we might have done. Everyone got a game. It was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. It was a great way to spend the early part of a summer's evening.

And the food and drink in the Beer Engine was as good as ever.

PS One of the other principles of Bazball is said to be "a less reflective environment". Is this report too reflective? Answers on a postcard, please.

A.N.Other was Rob Eastaway

Heads & Tails Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 2w  
for 7 wickets
136 (20.0 overs)
Richardson ct  A Tiwari 7
Whaling Retired Not Out  32
Carpenter b  F Chave 4
Crockett Retired Not Out  30
Scofield b  L Grant 12
Horner ct  L Grant 3
Tyson run out  (A Tiwari) 27
Fowles run out  (K Nallala) 10
Moisan ct  R Eastaway 6
Cork Not Out  1

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Anuj Tiwari4.0024124.006.00
Fraser Chave4.0021121.005.25
Jayakrupakar Nallala2.001700.008.50
Jonathan Kirby4.003500.008.75
Lee Grant4.001929.504.75
A.N. Other2.0017117.008.50

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 5w  
for 6 wickets
Duncan Chave Not Out  34 40 1 85.00
Richard Lindsay ct  Fowles 6 6 1 100
Mark Phillips ct  Cork 11 29 1 37.93
Fraser Chave b  Carpenter 1 2 50.0 2
Lee Grant b  Richardson 12 7 2 171.43
Jayakrupakar Nallala b  Moisan 16 14 1 1 114.29 1
Anuj Tiwari Not Out  36 13 3 3 276.92 1
Tom Joshi-Cale ct  Richardson 2 3 66.67
Jonathan Kirby b  Richardson 2 5 40.0
A.N. Other   1
N.O. One  

Heads & Tails Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy