Newton Poppleford v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Thu 10 Aug 2017 at 6.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 6 wickets

Match report George Cockburn reports...

A tale of control, fierce pursuit and highlights, with control, tension and superstition – some factual, some just observed in the pub – oh and The Hero.

The Erratics’ warm warm-up match for finals day at Cheriton, was at Newton Poppleford on a beautiful August evening, with just a touch of humidity in the air. Despite some good innings and strong batting in two previous matches against New’n Pop’ this summer, the Recreation Ground hasn’t provided fruitful hunting – Erratics played 2, lost 2 in 2017.

Krupaker, fresh from a century at Clyst four days before, arranged that we would bowl first against NP’s powerful batting (they scored at nearly 9 per over on our last visit) and in this game as many players as possible would bowl – perhaps two overs each. The Erratics walked out to field, then Jonathan asked

“Who’s keeping wicket?”

“You are.”

With tight lines, Ben and Mark kept the openers tied down pretty well. Mark’s first attempted yorker returned over his head for six, but the same delivery in the next over hit the spot and the stumps. NP lost both openers early and then, painfully, our resident ‘Monster Blogger’ missed a very difficult catch running in from deep mid-on, cutting his finger and dislocating a digit.

Erratics were down to ten in the field for some time before Mark resumed his normal shape and returned to the field. But we were watchful and quick to the ball. As the tight fielding continued, NP’s middle order dug in – restrained by some accurate bowling, especially from Nigel and Tom, and the frequent bowling changes possibly made it more difficult for the batsmen to settle.

Skilfully, our skipper kept himself and Nick in reserve to bowl in overs 15-18, when the settled batsmen looked to accelerate – both bowled accurately and quickly, their four overs yielded only 18 runs. Ben and Nigel returned to bowl the final overs and at the halfway mark, our target was 132 to win: stern, but gettable…though Erratics have only scored more than 130 in Twenty20 twice so far this year (in a losing chase at Cullompton and when setting a winning total against Rackenford)…and chasing can be tense…

Wicketkeepers have a reputation for superstition.

Therefore future Erratics captains may want to ensure that Jonathan – or any other wicket keeper they choose:

a) arrives in the right van

b) parks the van away from the ground’s usual parking space

c) does not know that they will keep wicket until the match starts

d) continues directly from keeping wicket to open the batting

Because Jonathan, together with Matt, opened superbly with consecutive boundaries and flourishing bats.

Boundaries flowed, Matt scored his first ever 6 (one champagne moment) and Erratics even reached 38 without loss in the fifth over. Jonathan retired after reaching his 25 and Matt looked certain to follow him too, before he was bowled one run shy.

Buoyed by his previous batting performances, Nick needed just 4 to secure a batting average at NP of 100...then he went out to bat. He played and missed and hit the ball straight to fielders a few times before passing his milestone (with cheers from the boundary) and then going on to retire. Erratics were still well ahead of the required rate and with Fraser at the crease playing smoothly.

For those still reading, I’d like to break the rest of the story to you gently, as other correspondents before me have done, expertly. I enjoy Haynesian satire and the historian’s details and wit, as well as descriptions of the boundary, not just from it. Alas, I can’t find their depth so my essay continues at full throttle instead.

Dan T is The Hero of our tale and joined Fraser in the middle. Fraser hoped to play around The Hero and tick along nicely for the required 30-odd remaining runs. There was good running, then Fraser played a long-hop down, viciously, onto his wicket. I joined The Hero, briefly, kept running with him for a while but didn’t hit much and would have struggled to time a bad joke. I left. The skipper hit a great four but also had to run singles and in slightly irregular fashion, the tension rose to a plateau in the last two overs.

Serene throughout, The Hero put Nigel on strike for the final over, there was space in the field straight down the ground, they ran a wide and then, as if mimicking Keeper Kirby’s first ball of the innings, Dan flashed a masterful quick click to the vacant fine leg boundary. The Erratic ‘pavilion’ cheered and whooped (hopefully NP will have us back).


This win was set up by more tight fielding and steady bowling from Erratics. There was a (not uncommon) mini-collapse and then a final-over finish. Erratics’ first successful Twenty20 chase over 130 since Peartree in August last year – the top order got off to a great start but we can repeat that again!

Will it be (twice) on Sunday at the Cheriton Fitzpaine finals day…?


For Dan, his moment of victory might be bittersweet – he was shorn of his camera for the evening so there was no actual record of the coup de grâce. Dan: you will have to repeat such a moment of triumph; we will be ready.

Fraser wants Erratics to be able to present video reports, if he gets his way, what a stage that would be for The Hero’s next exploit.

Newton Poppleford Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 3 wickets
131 (20.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman3.0024124.008.00
Mark Hailwood2.0016116.008.00
Nigel Rutherford3.00800.002.67
Tom Bennett-Hughes2.00800.004.00
Matt Crawford2.0018118.009.00
George Cockburn2.002300.0011.50
Fraser Chave2.001300.006.50
Jayakrupakar Nallala2.00700.003.50
Nick Walding2.001100.005.50

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 4 wickets

(19.5 overs)
Jonathan Kirby Retired Not Out  25 3
Matt Crawford Bowled  24 2 1 1
Nick Walding Retired Not Out  25 2 2
Fraser Chave Bowled  14 2
Daniel Thistlethwaite Not Out  15 1
George Cockburn Lbw  2
Jayakrupakar Nallala Stumped  9 1 1
Nigel Rutherford Not Out  0
Tom Bennett-Hughes  
Ben Youngman  
Mark Hailwood  

Newton Poppleford Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.