Teign Valley v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 28 May 2011 at Unknown
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 3 wickets

Match report Match Report: Brian Carpenter

There is an amphitheatrical quality to Teign Valley’s ground. Tree-covered hills on one side, an uncut meadow of wild flowers ascending to steeply-banked woods on the other. A row of trees - stolid, forbidding, ancient - at the far end. Soaring buzzards, chattering hirundines, a pair of horses and some venerable brown cattle lend the arena a timeless, bucolic feel. It is always a pleasure to play at Teign Valley, even on a day such as this, which is grey and chilly with occasional drizzle.
The match is more prosaic, but no less enjoyable for that.

As usual, the Erratics arrive in dribs and drabs. Carpenter, eager to play his first match for nearly a year and his 100th for the club, is first, followed by Ellis, McRae, Kirby and Fear. Others come in their turn, although, by the time the game commences, shortly after two o’clock, Al Brunt, together with his two passengers, the Erratics’ recent recruits from the sub-continent, Varun Kothamachu and Suhaib Mohammed, is nowhere to be seen.

The toss is lost and the Erratics are asked to bat. McRae and Carpenter open, with McRae informing his partner that he hasn’t yet run anybody out this season. His partner is unsure whether to be reassured or concerned by this.
The pitch, as usual at this venue, is capricious and unpredictable. McRae goes early, edging a catch to slip without scoring. Phil Ellis, in at three, cracks a single defiant boundary before giving our old friend Russ Liley his first catch of the afternoon. Chris Fear comes next, striding to the crease with relish. In his distinctive cap he has the appearance of an optimistic young man who’s yet to know the world-wearying ennui of the regular batting collapse.

Sadly, Fear’s stay is short, and he falls lbw to one of Liley’s hooping inswingers. He is replaced by John Curtis, who makes his way quickly to 4 before offering a catch off Liley. The offer is accepted and the Erratics are 20 for 4.

By this time Brunt has arrived, and he comes to the crease at number six. Carpenter, who has been surviving by the skin of his teeth while the carnage has unfolded at the other end, reintroduces himself to his old team-mate with an obvious but heartfelt comment about the unfortunate circumstances of their reunion.

Brunt and Carpenter develop a painstaking partnership. Carpenter nudges, slashes, leaves, edges, plays, misses. Brunt drives and pulls with powerful intent. Carpenter is recalled by the Teign wicket-keeper and captain after being given out lbw to a ball which he has edged, and is then lucky to survive after a ball from Humphries hits his back pad directly in front of the stumps. Fortunately, both Humphries, and, more importantly, umpire McRae, are under the impression that the ball has come off the stumps. Confusion reigns until Carpenter admits what has happened. Humphries appeals - too late, alas - and McRae turns him down.

Chances abound as balls narrowly clear fielders’ heads, drop between them as they converge, and, on more than one occasion, bounce out of their hands. It is a frantic and unsettling time for the Teign side.

When the stand is worth 48, Carpenter is bowled by Mason, leaving Brunt and Kirby to try to get the Erratics score up to the 130 or so which will make it competitive. Unfortunately neither can achieve the longevity which is required. Both are bowled, and the tail subsides, the only stroke of note a stylish pulled six from Suhaib Mohammed. The Erratics innings closes on 107, which appears unlikely to be enough.

As tea concludes, Kirby attempts to inspire his men by invoking the spirit of Agincourt, and the Erratics take the field thinking that the Teign team are simply so many French archers waiting to be subjugated.

With this evocation of fifteenth century English military might resounding in his ears, Suhaib opens the bowling from the Pavilion End. He is sharp, straight and direct (as much in the manner of his appealing as his bowling), and so, in a similar way, is Kothamachu when he comes on to replace Andrew McRae at the opposite end of the ground.

Kothamachu parts the openers by bowling Humphries, and Suhaib gains a leg before decision against Mason. The experienced Trevor Mann battles away for a while before slashing Kothamachu to third man, where Suhaib holds a well-judged catch. Suhaib then bowls Foxworthy, and the Valley are deep in trouble at 31 for 4. This soon becomes 40 for 5 and the Erratics are favourites. However, the versatile and competitive Russ Liley is now at the wicket and, with steady support from Dunn, he starts to open out against Price and Ellis. The target ticks steadily down until Liley is bowled by Kothamachu for 28 with the score on 84, and the Erratics are back in the game. This brings Bassett to the crease. He is a batsman with no pretensions to technical correctness or defence and he plays a series of cross-batted heaves against Kothamachu. Unfortunately, a number of them connect, spoiling Kothamachu’s figures and reducing the target to the point where, when Bassett is bowled by John Curtis, only four are needed to win. These are knocked off from the first ball of Curtis’s next over and Teign Valley win by three wickets.

With the match over, the Erratics leave the scene rapidly, a mixture of domestic arrangements and the desire to watch a football match taking precedence over the traditional après cricket socialising. Carpenter, who can take or leave football, even when FC Barcelona are playing, is in a reflective mood and so meanders home via Holcombe Burnell and Tedburn St.Mary. It is a cool evening, and, with the country seemingly at a standstill for the Champions League final, the roads are deserted.

It is always a pleasure to play at Teign Valley.

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 6w 3lb 
for 10 wickets

(38.0 overs)
Andrew McRae Caught  0
Brian Carpenter Bowled  22
Phil Ellis Caught  4
Christopher Fear Lbw  2
John Curtis Caught  4
Al Brunt Bowled  37
Jonathan Kirby Bowled  11
Chris Squire Caught  4
Suhaib Mohammed Bowled  11
Varun Kothamachu Bowled  0
Penny Price Not Out  0

Teign Valley Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Teign Valley Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 7w 1lb 
for 7 wickets
108 (32.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Suhaib Mohammed9.041133.671.22
Andrew McRae2.001400.007.00
Varun Kothamachu9.032939.673.22
Penny Price5.002400.004.80
Phil Ellis3.001000.003.33
John Curtis4.0019119.004.75