Mandarins v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 04 Sep 2021 at 1.30pm
Erratics Cricket Club Lost 6 Wickets

Match report Match report by Jonathan Beverley, in theory, aided by his humble amanuensis, Martin Wright.

As the clouds rolled ominously over Warborough, like the opening credits of a particularly predictable Midsomer Murders, Erratics took to the field.

Not to play a game of cricket as such, but to carry out essential preparatory duties such as shifting the sightscreen and lifting the spikes holding the rope round the square out of the ground. “An ideal murder implement for Midsomer”, I suggested, and then Jonathan Kirby and I took off on a flight of fancy, imagining the body impaled against the sightscreen, with a crescent moon scudding behind the clouds and a barn owl shrieking a cry full of menace.

An inauspicious beginning…shortly to be succeeded by a very different, but all too real, carnage in the middle.

Jonathan Beverley (who is supposed to be writing this report and may even take over at some point) and I opened, and we were both intensely watchful for about an over each, after which we were both intensely out. Matt Crawford followed soon after, for what is best described as the briefest of all possible innings.

Mark Hailwood and Skipper Fraser Chave then introduced an element of calm into proceedings, during which lull Annie Chave confessed to being approached in the car park at 11.30 at night by a tall dark stranger.

Nothing unusual in that of course, only on this occasion he was a policeman, “asking me what I was doing parking a car in the car park at this hour”. Fortunately he didn’t seem to notice that she’d had several glasses of wine…

Gradually, Fraser and Mark started to accelerate, finding the boundary. Unfortunately, this acceleration was short-lived, and both perished shortly afterwards to leave the Erratics an impressive 25/5 at drinks. Just before the resumption of play, there was a further short interlude, as a plaintive voice rang out from the boundary: “Could the owner of the grey Volvo move his car please, it’s in the way of the Morris Dancers.”

Volvos and Morris Dancers – could you get more Oxfordshire than that?

Just as Fraser and Mark were guiding us to respectability, so they both perished: Fraser ran down the wicket and was stumped, and Mark played back and was bowled. Sam Cook told me that he and Mark had been discussing the wisdom of playing the ball late only yesterday. In this case, Mark was so late, he became The Late Mark Hailwood.

That brought two of Erratics’ longest serving troopers together: Peter Colclough and Chris Cook, who legend relates first batted together in the celebratory fixture to mark the Relief of Mafeking. Watchful initially, they gradually upped the tempo: Chris first, but then Peter too. Chris launched some powerful strikes to the boundary, and then Peter joined in. Together they put on a face- if not match-saving fifty, before Peter holed out. Chris continued on, untroubled by being dropped off perhaps the easiest caught-and-bowled chance ever seen since dinosaurs walked the Earth.

Meanwhile, Sam joined his Dad, fresh off a quickfire 96* only yesterday…. And even as I typed those words, he was bowled. “He bowled the same ball to me two balls running. I wasn’t expecting that”, Sam said, by way of slightly baffling explanation. “Well it takes his average over 100 for the tour”, said Colclough, sympathetically.

So we were 84-7 as Jonathan Kirby joined Chris. Moments later, Cook Senior perished LBW, “in two minds”, he said.

Still and all, to have Phil Power and Kirby at the crease with eight wickets down is indicative of Erratics’ batting in depth.

Phil got us marching towards 100 with some powerful if idiosyncratic slaps, and Jonathan joined in with characteristic cuts and pulls. Could we reach the dizzy heights of last year’s 130, which was enough to only just lose?

Jonathan holed out after a fine fighting knock, and Ben Youngman joined Phil with 10 minutes left. They battled on, with Ben launching a fine lofted four, and Phil cracking a final boundary, and we closed on…130!

JB takes up the tale of the Mandarins’ reply….

This was a good recovery from 25/5, but unfortunately we were soon to discover that the Mandarins would not be as charitable in giving their wickets away as the Erratics top order had been. Drs Youngman and Hailwood opened the bowling and were characteristically economical, conceding only 24 runs in the first 12 overs – but, crucially, for the loss of only two wickets, one caught by The Amanuensis at mid-wicket off the bowling of Youngman, the other caught by Sam Cook off Hailwood. The latter was promptly replaced by Chris Cook, who wheeled through almost 13 overs unchanged but the Mandarin batsmen were watchful, despatching the occasional poor ball to the boundary to keep the run rate on track. Chris did take one wicket, getting opener Forman LBW, but a run out was to be our only other success (I forget who the fielder was) as the Mandarins eventually chased down the target with a couple of overs to spare.

Almost a carbon copy of last year's match – perhaps we should bowl first next year…

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 9 wickets
Martin Wright Lbw  1 1
Jonathan Beverley Caught  0
Mark Hailwood Bowled  9 1
Matt Crawford Bowled  0
Fraser Chave Stumped  11 2
Peter Colclough Caught  21 2
Chris Cook Lbw  34 4 1
Sam Cook Bowled  5 1 1
Jonathan Kirby Caught  12 2
Phil Power Not Out  25 3
Ben Youngman Not Out  6 1

Mandarins Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Mandarins Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 4 wickets
131 (38.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman13.0335135.002.69
Mark Hailwood8.0220120.002.50
Chris Cook12.5151151.003.97
Fraser Chave4.001800.004.50