Erratics Cricket Club Erratics v West Chiltington & Thakenham on Sat 20 Jul 2013 at 1:30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 172 runs

Match report Jonathan Kirby reports

"Pull!" BANG. 4 runs.

The opening of the West Chiltington & Thakenham innings was more like a clay pigeon shoot than a game of cricket. After 8 overs, the score stood at 71 without loss, and only a handful of those had actually been run between the wickets.

It wasn't really a day for running. The sun beat down on a Dunsford that was barely recognisable from when I'd last been there, in May. Such grass as there was was short and brown, the ground was hard with the result that the ball sped across it. Lumpiness remained, however. Unfortunately this meant that when a hapless Erratic stooped or even knelt to field it, the ball seemed always to take a wicked change of direction leaving the fielder stranded and 4 more runs on the board. "Whatever happened to my green and pleasant land?"

While the fielding was undeniably Erratic, we did catch more than we missed. Haynes, in particular, held onto a screamer at mid-on, a ball that welded itself to his right hand. The scars were still there to be seen at the end of the day, but no camera was at hand.

For a brief moment, our spirits were raised as our double D dynamic duo of Dominic and Duncan brought the run-rate down from 9 or 10 an over to just 6 or 7, but the respite was brief.

The sound of a vuvuzela from the boundary meant that the next ball was to be struck for 4 or a forfeit paid by the batsman. Apparently this call was limited to just one per innings until 50 was passed. Repeated blasts forced Armstrong to take chances, but nonetheless his stumping by Forrester off D.Chave was lightning fast.

Great to see Chave father and son bowling in tandem at one point. Fraser unlucky to be wicketless, but far from being our most expensive bowler.

There was no respite, however, until near the end of the innings. The batsman seemed to prefer to hog the strike and eschewed quick singles and denied easy 2s in order to have a proper go at the next ball. Or maybe just to take it easy in the heat.

Tea was served in the oven that was the pavilion. Many thanks to Annie for having prepared it for us. The team had responded to Penny's request to make it a good one. Sitting in the shade, with a light breeze that had come from somewhere, was a very pleasant experience.

Batting was exciting. There was excitement among the spectators as it appeared that McRae might run out Nalalla off the first ball, but the start turned out to be steady and after 3 overs, we were 13 without loss.

Those with faint hearts should stop reading here.

McRae then got a real shocker - the only ball of the day that kept really, really low. And it was straight. Next ball, Thistlethwaite gave gully some gentle catching practice. Chave the elder and Nalalla promised much with a partnership that yielded only 3 runs, till both departured to consecutive balls, skied. Kirby and Molins then found other fielders. When Forrester was run out (there's always a run out in a batting collapse), 7 wickets had fallen for 20 runs.

I learned in the pub that there's something else for a batsman to check before walking. You might think there's no doubt (clear as a Bell?) that when you hammer a long-hop from outside off-stump straight into the chest and then the hands of cover point that there can be no doubt about the outcome: dismay and departure. However, if the umpire is feeling generous towards the bowler, and if the umpire is perhaps also feeling that the batsman actually deserved to be out for playing such a shot, said umpire may choose not to signal "dead ball" even though the bowler had crashed into the stumps at the moment of delivery. The hard-earned lesson for the batsman is to check for such seemingly unlikely events before walking. Thank you, Peter!

Our pair of Ps, Prakash and Prosser, then showed that runs could be scored, thrashing 26 and 28 runs respectively, till Prakash was given LBW with a decision that was strongly contested by the experts in the pavilion and then Prosser was caught off a bump ball that wasn't - he thought he was, but he was in a minority of close to one.

Jeff Haynes shouldered arms stylishly, several times, to great applause. "A good match to win from here" was the general consensus, but a last-wicket stand of more than 170 runs was always beyond us.

This was not, however, a dismal afternoon. It was hot, sunny, friendly and hugely enjoyable. Sure, the cricket could have been more keenly and evenly contested, perhaps. But everyone enjoyed themselves - certainly the touring party had a field day, and one that took in the river too. And the pub, where they decently bought us all a round of drinks.

They were also philosophical about the game. They'd enjoyed it, and they observed that 5 of the catches they took might, on another day, have gone between the fielders rather than straight to them. Maybe they were just being polite, but it was a sign of a great afternoon of friendly cricket, and I hope we'll get the chance to play them again next year.

West Chiltington & Thakenham Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
6w 4b 2lb 
for 6 wickets
288 (40.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Prakash Kripakaran7.0073173.0010.43
Jeff Haynes9.0054227.006.00
Dominic Prosser8.0042221.005.25
Duncan Chave8.0051151.006.38
Fraser Chave6.003900.006.50
Paul Molins2.002300.0011.50

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 5w 9b  
for 10 wickets

(22.3 overs)
Andrew McRae Bowled  1 10 10.0
Jayakrupakar Nallala Caught  15 21 2 71.43
Daniel Thistlethwaite Caught  0 1 0
Duncan Chave Caught  0 9 0 1
Jonathan Kirby Caught  4 2 1 200 1
Paul Molins Caught  4 2 1 200
Andrew Forrester Run out  7 3 1 233.33 1
Prakash Kripakaran Lbw  26 33 5 78.79
Dominic Prosser Caught  38 37 7 1 102.70
Fraser Chave Caught  6 12 1 50.0
Jeff Haynes Not Out  0 6 0 1

West Chiltington & Thakenham Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.