Stokeinteignhead v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 14 May 2011 at Unknown
Match was Drawn
Match Report by: Chris Squire
Whilst talking me through directions to the ground at Stoke-in-Teignhead, Peter Thomson provided a wonderful insight into the political theory of Erratics’ team selection. “Veer left at the sign for fruit-pickers”.
I’ve played cricket on-and-off (more the latter than the former, even when I’m on the pitch) for around 15 years now, but it still baffles me. The Erratics’ win-ratio this season is fairly dire, with, before this game, 2 won and four lost. So the Erratics agree to play the same team that ‘larruped’ them the previous weekend. My second concern is around the timed-game, which I understand to be a more gentle, serene and friendly form of play yet invariably provides the opening batting-side with the opportunity for more overs, runs and teatime carbohydrates before unleashing themselves – once the mid-afternoon heat of the day has subsided - on a side tired from, well, more overs, runs against and teatime carbohydrates. I’ll have it sussed in 15 years’ time.
We’d lost the previous week’s fixture against Stoke-in-Teignhead by 8 wickets with 15 overs remaining, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the smell wafting over the ground and carried by the cold wind fanning the weekend’s Ten Tors hikers was in fact coming from South West Water’s principle sewage dump and not the scent of fear from the Erratics. The other parts of the weather were intermittent bright, cloudy, warm, chilly.
The game looked slightly under threat, with 6 Erratics at the ground just before the scheduled 2-00 start. Jonathan Kirby arrived in his van, raising the hope that the windowless boot perhaps contained 4 Erratics, freshly arrived in this country with dubious residence-status. Jonathan could only produce his kit from the back. We were complete when Al Brunt cheerfully arrived 10 minutes after we started.
Gareth Oughton has a peculiar warm-up routine for an opening bowler, charging himself with a combination that NASA has yet to put in its rockets: Coca Cola and cigarettes. The combination clearly has its effect, with uncontrolled / uncontrollable deliveries accounting for 9 runs against in his first two overs, out of an eventual total of just 19 runs from 10 he bowled in all. Perhaps the wish is for the brand of cigarette to influence those opening balls: Lucky Strike.
The Erratics’ fielding was less than secure, with a number of runs leaked through open legs and wobbly hands. There were a couple of dropped catches, including a stinging drive to the right of Jan Heaton that spun out of her hand, fortunately not striking one already broken finger.
Once the nicotine and caffeine had been seen off, Gareth became the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of 3 for 19. Sam Cox found some turn with his looping deliveries, also bagging 3 wickets with 67 runs against. His father, Peter, described this as a ‘buffet’-style of bowling; batsmen help themselves before getting caught through over-indulgence. Jonathan Kirby then instructed Sam to ask his father how many wickets he’d got so far that afternoon…
Peter Cox did get his wicket, however, a short ball clipped behind by a charging batsman, smartly taken by Peter Thomson.
Penny Price and Jan Heaton suffered somewhat from the excellent Russell, with neither getting a wicket and runs against of 43 and 40 respectively. Russell was timing things superbly and was not out on 87. Stoke-in-Teignhead reached 217 and a somewhat disconsolate Erratics’ team queued for tea. It probably didn’t help our mood to have a tea-time debate on the etymology of ‘larruping’ (by the way, it’s probably Dutch, from ‘larpen’ – to slap or thrash. ‘Larp’ is rod or whip. Insert your own jokes.)
Sam Cox and Jan Heaton opened for the Erratics. Sam at 16 (ish) impressed Peter Thomson, preferring the posh side to anything on leg. His innings included a beautiful 4, cut off one knee. Jan looks so classic and polished and includes a lovely defensive pose in her repertoire; elbow pointing to the sky and then a perfectly straight, diagonal line to the toe of the bat, almost inviting the bowler to attack with his next ball so that she could riposte with an effortless punch for four.
Sam was bowled for 12, but the score was moving along nicely early on. To be fair, wides were mounting up, with 9 by the 8th over. Scoring then became difficult and we went from 36 off 7 overs to 40 off 12. However, Al Brunt hit 10 off the 14th over and with 20 to go, the Erratics needed 7 runs per over. “That’s gettable!” exclaimed the new Erratic, Peter Cox. “That’s hubris…” replied the experienced Erratic, Jonathan Kirby. Mind you, with Al and Jan still at the wicket, Jonathan, Sid Thomson and Peter Cox yet to come, a victory was possible.
And of course, there was then a mini-collapse. Jan was out on 40, stumped after coming down the wicket. Al was bowled on 49, heaving and missing. Sid was caught on 4 and Squire bowled for 0.
Why couldn’t we leave it at that? We’d had a go early on but after 31 overs were 144, still 74 off the target. But no, Peter Cox and Jonathan Kirby came in and started to score runs. Lots of them. The fast slopes of the pitch were worked to our advantage and so it came to be that we needed 25 to win off the last over. It couldn’t happen, it didn’t happen, but we were close, scoring 18 off the final six balls. Peter lofted one delivery and it missed being a 6 by inches. He was caught off the last ball but at that stage we needed a no-ball to help. Erratics finished on 211 for 5.
We drew and after the previous weekend’s match against Stoke-in-Teignhead, that felt alright. But the four overs lost to our batsmen due to the timed game might, just might, have provided an improbable victory.
2nb 9w 7b 1lb
for 7 wickets
217 (42.0 overs)
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
2nb 19w 2lb
for 6 wickets
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