Broadclyst v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 16 Jul 2023 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 64 Runs

Match report JK reports...

On Sunday 16th July, Lee Grant left his home in Taunton and headed south towards Broadclyst. He had little hope in his heart. Others, perhaps scarred by the memory of the game played in 2019 which is referenced in Peter Thomson’s excellent foreword to must-have book “The Erratics: Unicorns Rampant” (available for purchase from this website) might also have been wending their way towards Broadclyst free of all hope. Grant’s gloom, however, was due to the weather. Driving south on the M5 through torrential rain, there seemed little prospect of a game taking place that afternoon. But the clouds parted (sort of), cricket there was, and it was to be Lee’s day.

At this point, let us remind ourselves of the words of Gilbert Jessop in “Cricket and How to Play It” - published as recently as nine years before the Erratics CC was founded:

“In appearance, of course, the drive along the ground may please the eye more, and on account of its safety will recommend itself more completely to those who bear the onerous and responsible burden on teaching the youngsters cricket, but though ‘safety first’ may be an admirable slogan, if all risks were eliminated the game of cricket would indeed become a dull employment of leisure hours. I am a great believer in teaching the youngster to properly thump the ball before concentrating on defence.”

Lee is a “proper thumper” of the ball. He carried his bat for 129 not out, from just 96 deliveries, including 7 sixes of which Gilbert Jessop himself would surely have been proud. “A well-timed forward shot through the covers is almost as satisfying as a full-bloodied drive over the rails, and is infinitely more pleasurable than any deflective back strokes.” I am sure Mr Jessop would have thoroughly enjoyed watching Lee bat. We certainly did!

Thanks to Lee, we Erratics finished on 197 for 5 wickets from our allotted 35 overs. On almost any other day, we might then have been claiming victory. Unfortunately, we had been chasing an improbable target of 262, so we came second.

Gilbert Jessop again: “There is room in most teams for a batsman who is not above taking a few risks, provided he can pull his weight in either of the other two departments.” If Lee took any risks, they clearly paid off, but he also contributed in the bowling department. Opening the attack, he had got the ball swinging marvellously for a couple of overs before it picked up sufficient damp and mud to become a bit of pudding to bowl with.

Was the ball to blame? We took only 2 wickets, which were shared by our slowest bowlers: Mark Hailwood and Sean Webb. I should say that I am sure there’s more to their bowling than lack of pace. Personally, I specialise in lack of pace, and end up feeling as though I am throwing peas at a tank. There’s point in this when we need to give the opposition some hope (Wraith’s Rovers) or hasten our own demise (Crediton Inn), but lack of pace in itself isn’t really enough – line, length, and actual spin undoubtedly helped Sean (for example) concede fewer than 4 runs per over, as well as garnering him a wicket. But maybe there is something to “pace off” when delivered skilfully? Most batters I know greatly prefer to face the quicker stuff.

But let us end with a further note from Gilbert Jessop, in the form of some words of comfort for our valiant bowlers:

“Confidence is a virtue as vitally necessary in bowling as in batting. The bowler who can still keep plugging away without losing his head under heavy punishment is as much to be commended as the batsman who triumphantly overcomes the difficulties of a sticky wicket. To see a dangerous batsman missed off your bowling may produce no momentary happiness, but if you can educate yourself to be indifferent to such passing disappointments your bowling is not likely to depreciate in effectiveness on that account. The bowler who cannot withstand punishment and disappointment is of small account, even though he may be possessed of considerable skill.”

I guess it would have been nice if Mr Jessop could have been present at tea to impart those words of wisdom in person? But we had Lee’s batting to come, which certainly provided some good cheer!

And maybe, as at Tipton St John the week before, maybe we could claim a moral draw?!

Broadclyst Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 4 wickets
261 (35.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Lee Grant5.002700.005.40
Oscar Cammack4.004800.0012.00
Mark Hailwood7.0064164.009.14
Ben Youngman4.003200.008.00
Fraser Chave7.004100.005.86
Sean Webb6.0023123.003.83
Anuj Tiwari2.003200.0016.00

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 3w 4b 3lb 
for 5 wickets
Lee Grant Not Out  129 96 16 7 134.38
Jon Perkin Caught  0 5 0
Anuj Tiwari Caught  16 18 3 88.89
Jonathan Kirby Caught  2 18 11.11
Valentin Haemmerli Bowled  3 28 10.71
Harry Everett Caught  21 22 3 95.45
Fraser Chave Not Out  15 27 2 55.56 1
Oscar Cammack  
Ben Youngman  
Mark Hailwood   1
Sean Webb  

Broadclyst Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.