Erratics Cricket Club Erratics v Mystics and Magicians on Sat 31 Jul 2021 at 2.00pm
Match was Drawn

Match report On seeing Martin Weiler arrive, “here comes the President” observed an Erratic from the pavilion. “But where’s his bodyguard?” quipped Phil Power without a moment’s hesitation, “that’s risky on a day like this!”

As ever, there was more than enough “top bantz” to fill a match report without ever mentioning any cricket. But that approach doesn’t feel appropriate today.

Happily, there was physical comedy. For example, Jim Thomson leapt the fence by the stream in his eagerness to retrieve the ball that Chris Cook had just deposited there, but a trailing foot caused him to be upended into the black mud from which he emerged like a black and white version of Batman’s adversary Two-Face. Annie Chave, whose laughter is, as we know, clearly audible at more than 800m, was on hand to take the photos. But photos can’t be shown here, so that doesn’t work either.

How about offering insights that may or may not be instructive? Annie was on hand for her brother’s dive into the mud because she was sitting on the far boundary, opposite the pavilion, talking to Ben Youngman who was waiting to go in to bat. Now, I’ve just read in “Late Cuts” that Viv Richards used to approach the wicket from this position because he didn’t want to hear any excuses or pick up any negative vibes from the man just out. When asked if he was modelling himself on Viv Richards, Ben deadpanned that he was not. And yet, while umpiring towards the end of the game, Jim Thomson confided in me that he feared the arrival of Ben at the crease because of his capacity for straight, clean hitting. Maybe Ben was being coy? Sigh. Of course not, and while contrivance such as this might bring a smile, it’s missing the point, really.

Perhaps your reporter could reveal that the Mystics & Magicians batted first as the consequence of a policy decision reached by negotiators between the two teams. Scarred by the experience of the Erratics once (long ago) holding the John Lloyd Cup and then, for several years batting for a draw, it has been agreed that the holders will henceforth bat first, giving their opponents the chance to wrest the trophy from them. This seems like a Good Thing. The Erratics only dug on this occasion with nine wickets down and two overs to play. But discussion of policy is boring, even if good policy yields positive outcomes.

Waxing lyrical about the setting can also fill column inches. Lustleigh does provide the quintessentially beautiful village cricket ground, and the rain chose to take a detour around it on this particular afternoon. Those who have played at Lustleigh will be familiar with the routine of retrieving the ball from the stream. This can become time-consuming and tedious (except when Jim is involved) and indicate a high-scoring game. Earlier rain had, however, dampened the wicket. It wasn’t a mud-bath by any means, but with the ball keeping low, the contest between bat and ball was more even than usual and the Mystics total of 160 something seemed challenging but with a required run-rate of about four per over, it also seemed achievable. At the half-way stage, we had a beautifully poised game of cricket in a setting that was quite “perfick” – even in July, rather than May.

The loss of three very early wickets was a setback for the Erratics, especially as they involved players who could have given us a flying start. Damn that wicket with the low balls! But while Chris Cook was at the crease, there was still hope. To have steered us to a win would have been a monumental achievement, befitting a 600th appearance for the Erratics. (Congratulations to Chris!) But risks were required, and having passed fifty, Chris was castled by a gleeful Sam Cook. Not even three lots of five wides in the final over could get the Erratics to the total achieved by the Mystics, who duly retained the trophy.

So, that’s duty done as far as reporting on the cricket is concerned, though much of that can be gleaned from the scorecard, and I’m not sure it adds much value. There must be more…

Under the watchful protection of his secret bodyguard in the trees behind him, President Martin Weiler was stationed on the boundary. The game may not have been stopped repeatedly for ball-retrieval, but “are we waiting for Martin?” was heard more than once as he seemed less interested in fielding and more intent on glad-handing the many spectators arriving for the game as they made their way past him to the pavilion. “I ousted Peter Thomson in a coup”, he explained in a short speech at tea, but if that’s so (which it isn’t) it must have been the friendliest of coups because the greetings were clearly of the warmest and friendliest kind, and those greeted were Erratics Legends of Olde, including Peter himself. This starts to get to the heart of the matter…

Although the Erratics could feel the game slipping away from them before it finally did, it was an exciting game, replete with “magic moments.” The setting was gorgeous and the weather kind. But with entire families and many old friends present to watch, it was a wonderful experience, a perfect game of friendly cricket and an entirely appropriate setting in which to remember Rita Thomson and Les Hanson. In her short speech at tea, Annie said she hoped they’d be “up there watching and enjoying it”. The way Annie’s voice carries, I’m sure they’ll have heard her.

Jonathan Kirby

Mystics and Magicians Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 6 wickets
167 (41.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman9.013200.003.56
Mark Hailwood9.0136136.004.00
Oscar Cammack7.0027127.003.86
Phil Power9.0037218.504.11
Martin Weiler5.0031131.006.20
Chris Cook2.01313.001.50

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 9 wickets
Richard Lindsay Bowled  0
Jonathan Kirby Caught  22 2
Jayakrupakar Nallala Bowled  1 1
Peter Colclough Lbw  2
Chris Cook Bowled  55 8 2 1
Martin Weiler Caught  13 2
Oscar Cammack Bowled  0
Penny Price Not Out  4
Mark Hailwood Not Out  6 1 1
Phil Power Caught  9 1
Ben Youngman Not Out  0

Mystics and Magicians Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.