Chulmleigh v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 29 Apr 2007 at 2pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 9 wickets

Match report by Brian Carpenter

After a false start at Dunsford the previous afternoon, a team of eleven Erratics, plus a few human and canine supporters, assembled at Chulmleigh for the first game of the 2007 season. The team was an interesting combination, comprising such seasoned performers as Martin Weiler, about to celebrate (if that’s the word, and it probably isn’t) the thirtieth anniversary of his Erratics debut, and two players, the illustriously-named Jonathan Davies and James Koranyi, who were making their own debuts for the ‘Rampant Unicorns’.

A usual at Chulmleigh the wicket looked green and potentially lively and it may have been the remarkable weather, which made it feel more like a July or August game, that influenced the captain, one Matt Cook, to bat after winning the toss. Whatever the reasons (and Matt offered many philosophical justifications during the afternoon), it was a decision which was to cause some controversy and comment as the game went on.

Matt Turner and Sam Cook were sent out to open the innings, but Sam was soon back in the pavilion, having slashed the first ball of the match to point. In many ways this was to set the tone for an uncertain Erratics innings which never gained any momentum.

Carl Knappett was in at three and for a while he and Turner consolidated, although the vagaries of the pitch were always in evidence. There was plenty of playing and missing and Turner edged a ball into his visor. However, the fun (using the term very loosely indeed) came to an end when both were lbw, leaving Matt Cook and your correspondent to try to retrench some more.

Matt did his best to salvage his fading reputation with an unusually workmanlike knock of 44 which still contained some brilliant shots, notably a straight drive for six and a clip off the legs, the timing and control of which would have done credit to Rahul Dravid. Carpenter, batting in a helmet for the first time in his life, hung around for a while, defending grimly against some potent swing bowling and unreliable bounce, before holing out in customary fashion when he tried to open out. Weiler was bowled showing rather too much of his stumps to the bowler, and, from then on, the innings subsided, although Nick Birbeck, batting at seven, did his best to marshal the tail while he nudged and nurdled his way to an unbeaten 14.

After two run-outs, and with the last man, James Burrows, also out lbw, we had reached 122, a total which, given the spiteful nature of the track, made it feel as though we had something to bowl at.

At this stage some of the underlying tension surrounding Matt's decision to bat came to the surface, with Nick, who had clearly remained blissfully unaware of his captain's folly (as he saw it) throughout the innings, expressing his disbelief when he finally heard about it.

This was probably a tad harsh, as in different circumstances 122 could have been a serviceable total. Circumstances in which we bowled tightly and allowed the gremlins in the wicket to play their tricks on the unsuspecting Chulmleigh batsmen.

Sadly, we didn't bowl tightly at all. The only member of the attack who was able to exert much control was Sam, who worked up a lively pace and found some useful movement through the air, troubling all the batsmen he bowled to as well as Matt Turner, who kept very well standing back.

The only wicket, that of Brian Darch, the left-handed opener who usually gets runs against us, fell to a good return catch by Sam, but by that stage the game had gone and Chulmleigh polished off the 123 needed in 27 overs with little discomfort. Of course, we could have bowled first, but if we'd bowled like that we'd have conceded a huge total and would have had an equally poor chance of winning, although we could have played for a draw.

Those of us who stayed spent a pleasant hour or two mulling over the afternoon's events (and much else besides) outside The Globe. As usual, the surreal statements emanating from the Cook brothers were enough to make the game fade rapidly from the memory.

So, the season started with a heavy defeat, as many Erratic seasons have in the past and many doubtless will in the future. Taking the wider cricketing context into account there's little to worry about. Unlike the previous day in Bridgetown (Barbados not Somerset), the game finished in daylight and the umpires knew what was going on (the Erratics were getting thrashed, that's what). Gary Sobers made one of the most notorious declarations in history at Port-of-Spain in 1968 and still went on to be recognized as the greatest cricketer of all time, while Nasser Hussain put Australia in at Brisbane in 2002 and went on to become a highly-paid Sky pundit.

Matt, there's hope for you yet.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
29w 5b 3lb 
for 10 wickets

(36.5 overs)
Sam Cook ct Rendall 0
Matt Turner lbw Cornish 7
Carl Knappett lbw Cornish 9
Matt Cook ct Rendall 44
Brian Carpenter ct Parsell 1
Martin Weiler b Rendall 4
Nick Birbeck Not Out  14
James Koranyi Run out  0
Jonathan Davies b Heimann 1
Phil Ellis Run out  4
James Burrows lbw Heimann 1

Chulmleigh Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Chulmleigh Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 1 wickets
123 (22.0 overs)
Darch ct and bowled S.Cook 23
Vaughn-Williams Not Out  59
Spence Not Out  22

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
James Burrows3.002300.007.67
Phil Ellis3.002000.006.67
Carl Knappett3.002000.006.67
Sam Cook6.0221121.003.50
Matt Cook3.002000.006.67
Jonathan Davies2.00800.004.00
Martin Weiler2.001200.006.00
Photos and video of Chulmleigh v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 29 Apr 2007 at 2pm

070409 Chulm 03.jpg

The sheep field at Chulmleigh

070429 Chulm 01.jpg

Erratics bat at Chulmleigh in the first match of the 2007 season

070429 Chulm 02.jpg

The pavilion and famous thatched shed at Chulmleigh in 2007

070429 Chulm 04.jpg

Carl Knappett gets in a tangle at Chulmleigh in 2007

070429 Chulm 05.jpg

Matt Turner batting at Chulmleigh in 2007

070429 Chulm 06.jpg

Brian Carpenter (left, truncated), Matt Cook, Martin Weiler, Jonathan Davies, James Koranyi and Phil Ellis wait to bat at Chulmleigh in 2007. They wouldn't have long to wait.

070429 Chulm 07.jpg

Spot the ball. Chulmleigh 2007. Not sure who this is batting. Phil Ellis?