Wraith's Rovers v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Tue 18 Jul 2023 at 6.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 10 runs

Match report Jon Bev reports...

It just so happened that a shortage of available Erratics coincided with my annual summer trip back to the UK from Colorado. So it came to be that I made the evening journey down to Exeter from Salisbury for our first ever meeting with Wraith’s Rovers, who, I was told, are a team comprised largely of fathers and sons, with the match taking place at the Coaver Club. I also got lumped with match reporting duty…

This was a highly significant and momentous day, for the eagerly-awaited Erratics bucket hats had arrived a couple of days earlier and were being distributed by “Matt the Hat” Crawford before the start of the match. These truly are versatile hats. They can be worn in sailor mode (with the brim turned up all the way round; as an aside, Matt tells me that the colour of them is officially “French Navy Blue”, so perhaps they also have the same suppliers), with the brim down all the way round, in what I’m going to call “cricket mode” with the back of the brim turned up so as to not impede head movement while fielding, or even “Test cricket mode” – inside out with the white interior material showing. I think most Erratics settled on the “cricket mode” of wearing while we were fielding, though Oscar generally favoured sailor mode.

The spectators at the start of the match may have been few in number but they were an illustrious bunch, including musician Steve Knightley of Show of Hands, whose dog helped recover the ball from the undergrowth on at least one occasion, and Professor Richard Betts MBE, who I had met up with before the game for a pint. I think it might be the first time I’ve had a drink before the game even started, but I’ve been reading Phil Tufnell’s autobiography recently, from which I took my inspiration. In it, he details how he would often be out drinking and partying until the early hours of the morning when on tour, even the night before a match. Admittedly, I don’t think he was ever actually under the influence when playing for England, but I’ve found that my ability for most sports improves after a pint or two, so maybe cricket would be the same.

Anyway, I suppose I should include some detail of the actual match in this report. Skipper Jonathan Kirby won the toss and we elected to bat first, with Richard Lindsay and Oscar Cammack opening the batting, but not before Jonathan was put in his place by Oscar. “Are you umpiring?” enquired Oscar. Yes, came Jonathan’s reply. “In full whites?” quipped Oscar. Jonathan quickly went to grab a jacket…

Both batsmen were fairly watchful for the first over or two, before quickly getting into their stride with a series of boundaries, including three in three balls for Rick, which moved him on to a rapid retirement from just 15 balls. This brought me to the crease, though my stay was quite brief, managing only a few singles before holing out in the deep. Maybe alcohol doesn’t help after all, though a sample size of one is probably a bit small.

Oscar went on to retire shortly after, and the only other Erratics (aside from regular contributor Extras) to make it to double figures were Hugh Sheridan (10) and Anuj, who hit a few lusty blows in his 24 from 12 balls. There were small contributions from the rest of the order (and no ducks!), with Mark Phillips unlucky to be judged to have been caught in the covers. In the true spirit of village cricket I also umpired with pint in hand for the first time ever, with the permission (maybe even the encouragement?) of skipper Kirby (I’m a qualified umpire, you know, though they don’t teach you how to do umpire signals with pint in hand. Something to raise with the ECB, perhaps?). We ended our 20 overs on 128/6, which seemed like a decent, if not spectacular, score.

Rather disappointingly, at the start of the Wraith’s Rovers reply, only two Erratics took to the field wearing their snazzy new hats. Paul Carr and Ben Youngman (neither wearing hats) opened the bowling, with Paul bowling through unchanged to end an excellent spell with 3/24 from four overs. Oscar and Hat Crawford then took over, with Oscar picking up a deserved three wickets and Matt conceding only 15 runs and taking a wicket from his four over spell. Anuj also bowled two very tight overs, including a maiden, also picking up a wicket.

It was at this point, with 45 runs required from 24 balls with only 2 wickets remaining, that skipper JK called on me to bowl, a move made, I suspect, in the Spirit of Making Things Interesting, particularly as this was the first time I’d bowled at all since 14th July 2021. All things considered, it could definitely have gone worse. JK also insisted that I should mention the boundary that I let past off his bowling that I probably should have stopped, although of course this was also a deliberate move on my part, also made to Make Things Interesting. The end result was that Wraith’s Rovers required 16 runs from the final over with only one wicket remaining. The first ball of this over, bowled by JK, went for four runs. By this point, no fewer than six Erratics were wearing their new hats, and Jonathan was able to harness the collective power of this new headgear, with Hugh taking a pressure catch on the boundary to see us win by 11 runs. Erratics undefeated with bucket hats!

Some additional notes from JK:

As JB reported, they call themselves a “dad’s and lad’s” team. The team was set up by Nigel Wraith and this is only their second season. Nigel, together with friends of his and their sons, wanted to find a way to play friendly cricket. It happened that he was listening to some cricket commentary on the radio, and heard “someone famous from the Erratics” talking about the Googly Fund. Inspired by what he heard, he applied for a grant and was delighted to be given enough to get going with some pads, bats and stumps. Take a bow, Annie Chave!

JB mentioned that Steve Knightley watched the game. This was because his son, Billy, was playing. Not only was Billy a quick and accurate bowler, he was also the only retiree for Wraith’s Rovers. Having struck multiple boundaries, he came back in to face the final over, and might have won it for them but for Hugh’s catch. Steve himself is also a very good cricketer. His career as a musician prevents him for playing, however. He explained, “it would be pretty tough to have to tell Miranda and Phil (fellow members of Show Of Hands) that a tour had to be cancelled because he’d broken a finger.”

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 10w 12b 1lb 
for 6 wickets
Richard Lindsay Retired Not Out  25 15 5 166.67
Oscar Cammack Retired Not Out  25 28 4 89.29 1
Jonathan Beverley ct A Jarman b M Looker 3 8 37.50 1 1
Hugh Sheridan b H Russell 10 20 1 50.0 1
Matt Crawford b P Russell 6 9 1 66.67
Anuj Tiwari ct Unsure b N Wraith 24 12 2 2 200 2
Mark Phillips ct S Looker b H Russell 1 10 10.0
Ben Youngman st K Jarman b D Looker 5 8 62.50
Paul Carr Not Out  3 8 37.50
Jonathan Kirby Not Out  2 3 66.67
Hugh Sheridan  

Wraith's Rovers Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Alex Jarman2.002200.0011.00
Billy Knightley2.01800.004.00
Albert Lisk2.001200.006.00
Max Looker2.0010110.005.00
Seb Looker2.00600.003.00
Harry Jarman2.001700.008.50
Paul Russell2.00717.003.50
Henry Russell2.00824.004.00
Dan Looker2.0015115.007.50
Nigel Wraith2.0010110.005.00

Wraith's Rovers Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
117 (20.0 overs)
Seb Looker ct A Tiwari b P Carr 14 14 3 100
Kev Jarman b P Carr 4 3 1 133.33
Alex Jarman b P Carr 15 6 2 1 250.0
Dan Looker ct J Beverley b O Cammack 11 10 2 110.0
Max Looker ct A Tiwari b O Cammack 5 16 31.25
Billy Knightley ct H Sheridan b J Kirby 31 18 6 172.22
Henry Russell b A Tiwari 2 16 12.50
Albert Lisk ct O Cammack b O Cammack 0 1 0
Harry Jarman b M Crawford 1 10 10.0
Paul Russell Not Out  11 10 2 110.0
Nigel Wraith run out  (Unsure) 15 11 1 1 136.36

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Paul Carr4.002438.006.00
Ben Youngman2.001400.007.00
Oscar Cammack4.002939.677.25
Matt Crawford4.0015115.003.75
Anuj Tiwari2.01212.001.00
Jonathan Beverley2.001800.009.00
Jonathan Kirby1.2015115.0011.25