Mount Edgcumbe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 30 Aug 2020 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost by 66 Runs
Match report by Martin Wright.
It was, Fraser ‘Saltzman’ Chave informed me on my arrival at the ground, my 200th game for the Erratics. And the sun was shining upon it, literally if not, as it turned out, metaphorically.
After several days monsoon that made me nostalgic for India, the skies had cleared, the sun was sparkling on the Tamar, and all seemed set fair for the club I’ve come to love.
It’s been a summer of double centuries, with Duncan Chave (debut 1984) reaching his last week, and Ben Youngman (debut ridiculously recently, for one who’s become such a key Erratic) earlier in the month. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Tim McMath was opening his Erratic account: welcome, Tim!
Skipper Duncan Chave lost the toss, and we were in the field. And what could be a more pleasant way to mark my bicentenary than watching Ben, who’s bowling better than ever this year, send his away swingers past the edge and into the tidy gloves of Keeper Kirby? Or to enjoy a resurgent Nick ‘Waldo’ Walding rediscover his mojo at the other end?
They kept it tight, and just as the normally dangerous Andy Ware was looking set, Ben cleaned him up. It was a study of skill at one end and hubris at the other. The previous ball had been despatched over the bowler’s head to the fence. This time, it came in sharply off the seam, and Ware, looking to go big again, couldn’t adjust in time and was bowled. It’s not the first occasion in 200-plus games that a batsman has underestimated Ben, and it won’t be the last.
Nick and Ben made way for spin twins Chris Cook and Fraser Chave. They too were tidy from the off, and gradually whittled their way through Edgcumbe’s middle order. We fielded enthusiastically, spurred on by Waldo’s foghorn blasts of encouragement which, thanks to the ground’s position overlooking the Tamar, could almost certainly be enjoyed by residents of two counties. Chris took a sharp chance at extra cover over his head, and Jonathan was neat and lively behind the stumps.
Edgcumbe’s other opener soon emerged as our principal foe. Starting slowly, he steadily accelerated, and was a study in shot selection, punishing anything loose, working decent balls for ones and twos, and keeping out the good ones. He reached an excellent century before Fraser pinned him in front, and like a true pro, he went off chuntering under his breath.
Fraser picked up a well-deserved five-for, and as the innings drew to a close, I finally remembered that the key to a good run-out was making sure that the victim was one of the opposition.
As if reassured by this, Duncan invited me to open the batting with him. The target seemed reachable enough, at a rate of around five an over, so all still seemed set fair for an Erratic day in the sun. We started cautiously against some testing bowling, on a pitch which, now we were batting on it, suddenly seemed surprisingly skiddy and stodgy. Funny how conditions can change in the short space of tea…
Duncan adjusted to it well, using his feet to drive and loft the ball past the infield, and – thanks mainly to him - we were soon purring along. If I were charitable about my own efforts, I’d describe them as solid. Other adjectives are available… Duncan by contrast was more liquid, flowing free, and soon reached a fine 50. By drinks, we’d put on 80 or so, although the use of the first person plural there is a little generous: apart from the odd occasion when I awoke from my stupor to lash a boundary, I’d mainly watched.
After drinks, the unravelling began. Duncan was adjudged LBW, and Krupakar put down his baby and picked up his bat to join me. Aware that the asking rate was climbing, and that we had a veritable powerhouse of batting to come, I decided it was time to get a move on. It was a decision with the briefest of consequences. This brought newcomer Tim to the crease. He and Krups kept things going, but soon both perished, and apres eux, le deluge. We didn’t so much fade away as fall in a heap, undone by a combination of fine, speared-in off-breaks from one end, and well-flighted leggies from the other. Suddenly we weren’t so much chasing a target as struggling to survive. Last-wicket pair Nick and Ben delayed the inevitable with some dogged defence for a while, but then Ben was bowled by a lovely leg-spinner and it was all over.
Still, the sun had shone, the match had been played in great spirits, and if my next 200 games are anything like the first hundred, I’ll die happy. Although if I get remotely near that milestone, I’ll probably die on the pitch.
Mount Edgcumbe Batting
for 10 wickets
188 (46.5 overs)
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
1nb 9w 4b
for 9 wickets
Mount Edgcumbe Bowling
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