Newton St Cyres (mini-league semi-final) v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 13 Aug 2017 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 7 wickets

Match report Erratics’ progression to the finals day of the Mid-Devon Twenty20 Bash at Cheriton Fitzpaine was touch and go during most of the league phase. However a place was almost guaranteed after a convincing victory over the Met Office. And once it was, a fourth-placed finish pitted us against league winners, Newton St Cyres, in the second semi-final. The winners would face Cheriton Fitzpaine, winners of a nail-biting first semi-final.

Skipper, Jonathan Kirby, was escorted to the game by Annie and Fraser Chave and yours truly. Fraser, now a member of A* in Further Mathematics A-Level club, offered Jonathan much statistical advice. The key piece was that this season ``Erratics has won 56% of games in which we batted first, and 50% second.’’ That the percentages exceeded 100 didn’t fool JK, and his decision to bat second, having won a candidate for the longest toss in Erratic history, must surely have been inevitable in the light of the statistical evidence.

It was a tough day for the bowlers. Newton St Cyres were aggressive from the off and quickly picked up some rather cheap singles. JK created a party mood with musical bowlers in order to try and stifle runs. However, a fairly constant 7-an-over was maintained, resulting in Newton St Cyres posting 139. This seemed slightly daunting given the totals seen during our games in the build-up to finals day. But the outfield was fairly quick, and the total would easily have been much higher were it not for the relative frugality of Nigel Rutherford (3-0-14-2) and Krupakar Nallala (2-0-5-2), wickets to Jeff `wonderfully enthusiastic LBW appeal’ Haynes, Phil Power, Tom Bennett-Hughes and Fraser, and JK’s large head forming an effective barrier in the covers.

Openers, Fraser and Krupakar, set out after the 140 required and soon returned, but not before posting 32 and 33, respectively, well ahead of the required rate. Martin `six back over the bowler’ Wright (a name for which this year’s exploits have made him synonymous) was also quick to accumulate runs including a six over long off that ricocheted off the edge of the bonus-point-basket, which offered no benefits on finals day anyway. Rapid run scoring had put the final in our sights and go-getters Nigel (run-out, 8) and Danny Williamson (run-out, 21) left Phil (not out, 10) and JK (not out, 10) a manageable chase that culminated in two runs off two balls being required. Crowd-pleaser JK opted for four off one, cannily slashing the ball over extra cover.

A ball to the head and a necessary dynamic captaincy in the semi-final had taken its toll on JK, and the mantle of skipper was handed to Krups for the final, which was facilitated by Siva Subramanian’s reliable presence behind the stumps for the day. Krups won the toss and as statistics, which we’d improved, don’t (damn) lie, opted that we bat second again. A couple of early wickets, however, only brought in Cheriton Fitzpaine’s hard-hitting batting force, which quickly accumulated runs. Again, Nigel proved a thorn in their side (3-0-10-3) and Jeff took a wicket, resulting in the hosts posting 142. The exertion required to achieve a slightly lesser total just a couple of hours before, however, suggested this might be a bit of a mountain to climb.

And it turned out to be. Fraser and Martin posted uncharacteristically few runs, and Tom Bennett-Hughes’ attempt to keep up the rate resulted in his being run out. After Nigel and Danny also succumbed fairly quickly, Krups and JK offered some resolve. Buy sadly not enough. As JK watched Krups, Phil and Siva form the out caught club, it was Jeff whose wicket remained in tact as JK joined the club, having just spared Erratics’ blushes by taking us past 100. Naturally speculation on the cause of the change in fortunes was in the air. Was it the burden of two games in quick succession? Had the evening approaching slowed the outfield? Was the pressure of successive finals too much? Fortunately such speculation was moot as the better team had won.

The day was capped with an awards ceremony in which Newton St Cyres and Cheriton Fitzpaine received their league and finals day winners plaque and trophy, respectively, and Cheriton Fitzpaine’s Ben Coe narrowly pipped Fraser to the player of the tournament accolade. Prior to leaving, we wished TBH well in his move to translate some Spanish in Bristol. Tom has been an Erratic regular in 2017, and shall be remembered for many things. For me, it’s his always brandishing a straight bat, and his premature retirement earlier in the mini-league: he thought he’d been called in to retire so went in and de-padded; once he was eventually found he was sent back out; then he got a few more runs and did retire.

An entertaining finals day lessened the relevance of defeat. Having lost last year’s final, I recall leaving with JK to the proclamation: ``I bloody love cricket’’. And I’m sure many of us would agree with those sentiments after another great day’s cricket. Nonetheless, 2018 will be Erratics’ year. You heard it here first. And I’ll stake a pint on it.

Ben Youngman.

Newton St Cyres (mini-league semi-final) Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
139 (20.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman3.002300.007.67
Nigel Rutherford3.001427.004.67
Jeff Haynes3.0020120.006.67
Tom Bennett-Hughes3.0021121.007.00
Jayakrupakar Nallala2.00500.002.50
Phil Power3.0022122.007.33
Fraser Chave3.0026126.008.67

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 3 wickets

(19.5 overs)
Fraser Chave Retired Not Out  32 4
Jayakrupakar Nallala Retired Not Out  33 2 2 1
Martin Wright Caught  19 1 1 1
Nigel Rutherford Run out  8 1 1
Danny Williamson Run out  21 3
Phil Power Not Out  10
Jonathan Kirby Not Out  10 2
Tom Bennett-Hughes  
Sivaraman Subramanian   1
Ben Youngman  
Jeff Haynes  

Newton St Cyres (mini-league semi-final) Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.