Teign Valley v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Mon 27 Aug 2018 at 11.00am
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 7 wickets

Match report Match report by Martin Wright.

Like the Edinburgh Fringe or the Reading Festival, our annual tussle against Teign Valley is surely one of THE defining fixtures of the end of summer. As leaves turn and swifts depart, so Erratics head to that bucolic meadow below Bridford, there to do battle for the Stephen Fisher Trophy.

Bucolic and…bumpy. The field doubles as spring grazing land: this year’s April deluge had turned it into a quagmire, which was then churned up by the heavy feet of Devon cows. Then the summer heat kicked in, setting all those scrapes and churns as solid as fired clay. Result? A very ‘sporting’ outfield, pocked and pitted, playing havoc with the ball’s trajectory, turning it into an exercise in randomness, and so provoking some comical misfields. (Bizarrely, it was mainly Erratics who seemed to suffer such mishaps – a telling lack of local knowledge perhaps, and surely absolutely nothing to do with skill or athleticism.)

This is our only all-day, two-innings fixture, and it works like this. Pre-lunch, we play a Twenty20 game, which is followed by a ‘normal’ timed game in the afternoon. The winner of the Twenty20 is also deemed to have won the toss for the afternoon fixture, and takes a ‘first innings lead’ going into that. It’s a nice idea, and one that might be fun to replicate in some other fixtures, too.

To the game: Teign Valley opened up, and started cautiously, restricted by some tight bowling from Fraser Chave, Mark Hailwood and Phil Power. Phil was particularly miserly, and won the first wicket thanks to a mis-hit to mid-on, where I took the catch. There followed a nice little Hammer Horror moment, where, after clapping my hands encouragingly in that self-important way fielders have after getting something right, I noticed blood spattered all over my shirt. As I caught the ball, the seam had sliced into my fingertip. This was, statisticians please note, the second time in August that the same Erratic had bloodied his shirt while attempting a catch. I’m sure Fraser or possibly Ferro could confirm whether this is a first in the history of the club. (I can hear Ferro now…“Well of course John Lloyd is said to have undergone a similar fate in August 1937, but there is some dispute as to whether the second injury resulted from a contre-temps on the charabanc, rather than an incident on the field of play itself, so yours may indeed be the first confirmed such case, yes…”.)

The finger was soon staunched, but for Erratics as a whole, and your correspondent in particular, the Hammer Horror theme continued through the day. Teign’s Mason (62) and Dunn (44) weathered our initial attack and started to cut loose. They were far from chanceless, but their luck was in. I managed to position myself perfectly under one towering skier, only for the ball to tease me by plopping straight into my palms and out again. I swear it laughed as it hit the ground. A little later, banished to long-on, another chance came my way, and I fluffed that, too. (A team-mate rubbed salt into the wound by telling me the batsman had cried out “Oh, no, I’ve hit it straight to him!”, and even started to walk off, before my clumsy reprieve.)

Despite these lapses, TV never got entirely away from us, and with Duncan Chave and Nick Walding joining Phil in the wickets column, they finished their 20 overs on 117-5.

Eminently gettable.

Or so it seemed. Erratics opened cautiously but solidly, with Andrew Forrester and Danny Williamson laying a firm foundation. But the customary acceleration never really happened. That same outfield which had been so treacherous for our fielders behaved itself impeccably for its home side. Well-struck shots were expertly fielded, and boundaries elusive: we managed three in our entire innings. Some batsmen got starts – Andrew top-scored with 23, Martin Weiler 20, I scraped together 19 and Phil managed 11 – but all got out trying and failing to move the scoring rate beyond the glacial. A couple of untidy run-outs completed our collapse, and we finished on a rather dismal 88-8 – conceding a hefty 29 run lead on first innings.

Lunch al fresco followed, with Mark Hailwood kindly donating sustenance to those feckless Erratics who had failed to provide their own, and we duly empadded ourselves for the second innings. Whereupon we entered the brief sunlit uplands of our day, thanks to a fine, fighting partnership of exactly 100 for the second wicket between our peerless Chaves, Duncan and Fraser. Theirs was an object lesson in controlled aggression – starting cautiously, then opening up. Duncan in particular was ruthless on anything loose, despatching it with his trademark combination of grace and power: the highlight for me was a glorious sweep shot, taking a full ball from outside off and sending it soaring over square leg deep into the neighbouring meadow.

While Chavism held sway, anything seemed possible, and we entertained thoughts of setting Teign 150… 60…70…

But all good things come to an end, and when Fraser was adjudged caught behind for an excellent 38 with the score on 103, the Erratishambles resumed. I shall draw a veil over the ensuing rout, as it would be egregious to recount individual lapses when in truth the failure was collective, and complete. Only one other batsman scraped into double figures, as our last nine wickets fell in a heap for just 30 runs.

A word, though, for Teign’s bowlers, who had adopted the simple but effective practice of hitting good lines and lengths, cramping batsmen for room, starving them of anything juicily tonkable, and so preying on their frustrations till some inevitable idiocy or other sent them packing.

Set a meagre 105 to win, Teign responded calmly, knowing they had time and wickets on their side. It’s to our credit that we didn’t completely crumble: our fielding was more resolute second time round, and our bowlers stuck to the task, with Fraser (1 for 33 off 11) and Phil (1 for 33 off 13) the standout performers. As if learning from Teign’s display, both bowled tight lines and kept the batsman quiet for long periods. But 100-odd was never going to be defendable against competent batsmen, and so it proved. Teign crossed the line at a gentle canter with a couple of overs to spare, and so reclaimed the Stephen Fisher Trophy as well deserved winners.

Something of a rout then, and a blip in what has been a strong late summer’s record. But some comfort, too, that in these days of gloomy prognoses of the future of village cricket, our opponents, who had seemed to be struggling to pull any kind of side together at the end of last season, had assembled a full complement of decent players. Decent enough, indeed, to derail the Mighty Erratibus.

Not that buses go on rails. Erratitram maybe? Erratitrain? Hmmm, no, doesn’t have quite same ring to it… When in doubt, stick with the metaphor that worked first time round, and hope nobody’s picky enough to notice.

[The scorecard is slightly misleading: the Erratics batted 2nd and 3rd, and TVCC batted 1st and 4th. TVCC successfully chased 105 in the final innings]

Teign Valley Batting - 1st innings
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 5 wickets
117 (20.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling - 1st innings

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Mark Hailwood4.002700.006.75
Fraser Chave4.002300.005.75
Phil Power4.0113113.003.25
Duncan Chave4.0035217.508.75
Nick Walding4.001929.504.75

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting - 1st innings
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 8 wickets

(20.0 overs)
Andrew Forrester Caught  23 1
Danny Williamson Bowled  2
Martin Wright Bowled  19 2 1
Phil Power Run out  11
Martin Weiler Stumped  20
Nick Walding Caught  2
Fraser Chave Bowled  1
Mark Hailwood Run out  3
Paul Molins Not Out  1
Duncan Chave   1
Mark Phillips  

Teign Valley Bowling - 1st innings

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Teign Valley Batting - 2nd innings
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 3 wickets
106 (31.1 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling - 2nd innings

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nick Walding5.002600.005.20
Phil Power13.0333133.002.54
Fraser Chave11.0233133.003.00
Mark Hailwood2.1012112.005.54

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting - 2nd innings
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 10 wickets

(34.0 overs)
Duncan Chave Caught  69 4 3
Mark Phillips Caught  0
Fraser Chave Caught  38 3 2
Mark Hailwood ct  & Bowled 0
Danny Williamson Caught  0
Paul Molins Caught  4 1
Martin Wright Caught  12 1
Andrew Forrester Run out  0
Phil Power Caught  0
Martin Weiler Caught  5
Nick Walding Not Out  0

Teign Valley Bowling - 2nd innings

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.