Erratics Cricket Club Erratics v Mystics and Magicians on Sat 05 Aug 2017 at 2.30pm
Match was Drawn

Match report Goodbye Gareth: a final outing for Oughton

Cheers skip. Talk about a hospital pass: Reportage for the final game of our premier fast bowler. Not only that, of course, but a game against our great friends (and oftentimes teammates) Jim Thompson’s Mystics and Magicians, fresh from a highly successful and winning tour of Cornwall. Dear reader, I request that you lower your expectations, as such a combination cannot be done justice. Not by a mathematician at least.

As in recent times, the Mystics game was to be preceded by slip catching practice using the cradle. Our hero (this will be how Gareth is referred to) joined in, and suffered like we all did, from a deep inability to actually hit the cradle from 4m away. It was during this catching practice that our hero noticed the talents of a young Martin Wright, snaffling quick moving balls with a nonchalant left hand, and with one eye closed (or so he claimed). It was fantasy fielding for our hero in his last game, and he duly informed skipper Mark Hailwood that he had selected his cordon, with Bucket-hands Penny Price and Nick `Waldo’ Walding completing the set at keeper and gully respectively.

I believe there was some talk of Gareth opening from both ends (it was his last game remember), but alas he settled for the end in front of the houses. Bowling with his trademark speed and swing, it was perhaps only the extra bounce of the artificial wicket that prevented the Mystics openers Fraser Chave and Pete Weatherhead from quickly returning to the pavilion. In his 4th over, our hero bowled what he would later describe as one of the best he’d ever bowled for the Erratics and his best of the season, which was too good for Weatherhead and his off stump. This brought the very dangerous Sam Cook to the crease, and Sam began tucking into anything loose. Ben Youngman doesn't bowl very much that is loose, but the 3 loose balls he did bowl to Sam were dispatched for 4, 4 and 6 respectively.

It was then that Ben found the top edge as Sam launched a swirling skier. As I ran underneath it, I heard someone shout “Danny’s” and thought briefly of all of the times Gareth would should “Gareth’s” under high loopy catch. As my mind wandered thusly, I tried to recall a time when said call was followed by a successful catch, and decided to keep my mouth shut. Catch caught, happily, we moved on.

Fraser battled hard for his 23 before our hero got a very nice away swinger to find the edge that was then expertly snaffled by his hand-picked slip catcher Martin Wright. Enter Adi and Ernie to put on over 100 runs for the 4th wicket. Hailwood brought himself and Waldo on, but even the novelty run-up brigade couldn’t put the batsmen off effectively enough to stem the tide of runs. Other noteworthy features of this period included George Cockburn almost taking a screamer at cover only to deflect it and then lose sight of the second chance rebound catch off Waldo; Tom Bennet-Hughes (TBH) saving at least 20 runs but failing to protect a pug from taking a cricket ball to the face off an Adi pull shot, and Dan Thistlethwaite running long on to long on, his final end of over switching time would have been competitive in the 800m this week.
Ben and Gareth came back on and there was time for a final wicket for Oughton, bowling Ernie in the last over. He had a good go at Sean, including an effort to make his final Erratics delivery one of the trademark net legspinners (it was given wide). Sean has been 2 short of a career Mystics century since the beginning of the tour, and was once again fined for jug avoidance, though cutting his deficit on the landmark to 1. So after Gareth’s final innings in the field Penny had kept to 38 overs of seam (ouch!) and Erratics needed 179 to win. Definitely gettable, if we could put a partnership together.

So to the joys of an Erratic tea. Errati-teas have been famous for being not very good. Not so this one. TBH definitely stole the show with a Victoria sponge that could have won bake off, but there was good pizza, an array of Sandwiches, lots of veggie stuff and two types of Tuna sandwich. Annie preferred mystery tuna to mine. Yes, I am bitter.

Mark Phillips and Williamson opened the batting, the former not enjoying the opening spin combination of Sean and Duncan Chave. Mark gloved Sean to square leg, before Williamson creamed a square cut off Duncan low but not low enough to avoid being caught left handed on the running dive just in front of the umpire by Sam Cook (he likes to serve it cold). George was bowled and Martin Wright came to the crease and started dominating the bowlers, finding boundary after boundary on the way to his 50. Waldo got his trademark first ball boundary, but was bowled second ball (Annie predicted he would last 2), Dan kept the ball out nicely and stayed with Martin, but was then bowled too. Our hero entered the fray and ran hard for his 5, but was stumped (he would not have liked to have been bowled).

All would be fine as long as Martin stayed there. No sooner had I thought that, than the crafty leggy Hoops tempted him to a straight drive over Sam Cook’s head. Do not tempt Sam, he will catch you (and he did). Enter the rearguard. Skipper Hailwood and TBH set about trying to get us a draw. At 98 and with 13 overs to hold out it didn’t look good. It looked a damn-sight worse when TBH was given out LBW having hit his pad with his bat (and the ball having gone clean through to the keeper without touching anything). Enter Ben Youngman. As one hero leaves, the moniker “leader of the attack” must surely transfer to Ben. Yet here, he was leader of the defense as both Mark and Ben held their ends and tried to block out some fierce Mystics bowling. Fraser bowled round the wicket to Hailwood “because it put the sun behind his arm”, Sam Cook sent missiles, and Pete Weatherhead’s pace and seam was almost always on the stumps, but Ben and Mark held firm and the Erratics kept the Chairman’s cup.

It was lovely to finish the Mystic’s tour with them and to enjoy an engaging contest. It was also a pleasure to send off a modern Erratics great the way he’d have wanted to bow out: With a drawn timed game played with friends and against friends on a warm sunny Devon day.

Good luck in Leicester chap!

Danny Williamson

Mystics and Magicians Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 4 wickets
178 (38.0 overs)
F. Chave Caught  23 2
P. Weatherhead Bowled  2
S. Cook Caught  21 2 1
A. Borely Not Out  73 7
M. Sharland Bowled  44 5
S. Webb Not Out  1
S. Thomson  
C. Healey  
I. Hooper  
C. Squire  
Joe Thomson  

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Gareth Oughton12.0238312.673.17
Ben Youngman11.0060160.005.45
Nick Walding9.003700.004.11
Mark Hailwood6.003800.006.33

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 8 wickets

(38.0 overs)
Danny Williamson Caught  5 1
Mark Phillips Caught  4
George Cockburn Bowled  2
Martin Wright Caught  57 5 2 1
Nick Walding Bowled  4 1
Daniel Thistlethwaite Bowled  2
Gareth Oughton Stumped  5
Tom Bennett-Hughes Lbw  2
Mark Hailwood Not Out  1
Ben Youngman Not Out  1
Penny Price  

Mystics and Magicians Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
S. Webb6.0216116.002.67
D. Chave6.011535.002.50
I. Hooper6.0124124.004.00
Joe Thomson6.0034134.005.67
F. Chave5.04212.000.40
P. Weatherhead4.01300.000.75
S. Cook2.02000.000.00