Chulmleigh v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sat 11 Sep 2021 at 1.30pm
Match was Drawn

Match report When I was young, I had a solitary paperback copy of the Gillette Book of Cricket and Football, probably dating from about 1966. The book taught me that the letters from boys who had apparently written to the editor of the Victor magazine had a single source – this book – because the letters printed in the Victor and the anecdotes in the Gillette book were word-for-word identical. It was only later that I realised that the boys themselves probably didn’t exist. Part of growing up involves disabuse of the notion that the world is full of honest people.

At this friendly game with Chulmleigh, I was put in mind of the Gillette Book of Cricket and Football because there were a couple of images from among the tiny, grainy, black and white photographic prints inserted in the middle of the book that have stayed with me. One had a long shot of a man on his knees at short mid-wicket, elbows on the ground in front of him, hands clutching the ball and the caption: “Catches win matches. Trevor Bailey. A half-chance magnificently taken.” If we had taken half the number of very good chances we were offered at Chulmleigh, we would have won this game with ease. But we didn’t.

Question: what does Fraser Chave have in common with Virat Kohli?

(a) Ferocious competitiveness
(b) Uncompromising commitment to male grooming
(c) 299 wickets for the Erratics
(d) A seeming inability to win the toss

Please send your answers on a postcard to the editor of the Victor magazine. There are prizes for the winners. Honest!

From what I recall, we would have batted first whoever won the toss. And so we did. On a damp and very difficult wicket, Chris and Martin battled magnificently for over an hour while those observing reckoned that 140 might be a good score. When our openers took their partnership beyond 50, they were clearly making an important contribution.

Among those not watching was “Yardy” (he packs heat…) who was in the nets with a couple of our bowlers, practising for an unpredictable wicket by batting for 75 minutes on a low, skiddy track that was entirely predictable. Somehow, this practice served him well, because after surviving a couple of spoons into space, he went on to his maiden 50 for the Erratics, including the solitary six of our innings. Surely a contender for “newcomer of the season”? (All newcomers are contenders. Editor, Victor magazine.) Eventually joined by Jonathan, the run-rate accelerated as the wicket dried. After Jonathan was caught, Jonathan was run out for the eleventh time in the last six years (Stats: Fraser Chave), having been wound up by Jonathan loudly exhorting earlier batters to run one more than they actually managed, and newcomer Kyle contributed quickly. We ended on an initially unexpected high score of 178, wondering if this would be enough, now that the sun was out. Incidentally, when Kyle was caught on the second ball of the last over before tea, Fraser declared without this 36th over of our innings being completed. But that’s another story...

The sun certainly shone on Tom, Chulmleigh’s opening batsman. Earlier this season, he had scored his first 50, and today, by dropping him five or six times, and missing two half-chances, one to Jonathan (which would have been an exact copy of the Trevor Bailey photo) and another to another Jonathan (if only it had been “magnificently taken…”) we enabled Tom to score more than 100. To be fair, he batted well, and is likely to score many more runs against us. Sadly, one missed catch was a massive steepler to long on, which bloodily ripped the webbing of Jonathan’s right hand, forcing him to retire from the field (Too much detail, Editor). Jonathan later drove him to A&E where his injury was duly attended to and, thankfully, is not too serious, though probably ends his season.

Meanwhile, last-minute changes to availabilities meant that we had only ten players in the field, and were short of bowlers. Like some kind of Terminator 2, Ben bowled 22 overs from the far end, and was eventually rewarded with 4 wickets. Emdad and Ben (“Yardy”) bowled well for 7 overs each from the pavilion end, but lucklessly. Is it unlucky if a catch is dropped? Or several? Fraser took over and promptly dropped a catch off his own bowling. Many others wouldn’t even have reached it, but he was desperately keen and excited about it because it would have been his 300th wicket for the Erratics. Happily, that was soon to follow, and then the 301st, a catch by Jonathan, who had earlier in the innings taken his 150th recorded catch for the Erratics. Four wickets for Fraser and we had taken eight in total, having given them 43 overs to try to beat our score. They were just 12 runs short when stumps were drawn. Phew! What a game.

Match report: Jonathan

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
5nb 15w 1b 1lb 
for 5 wickets
Chris Ferro Caught  54 5
Martin Wright Caught  30 2 2
Ben Yarde-Buller Not Out  51 6 1 2
Jonathan Beverley Caught  13 2
Jonathan Kirby Run out  1 2 1
Kyle Wedgwood Caught  7 1
Penny Price  
Ben Youngman  
Fraser Chave  
Emdad Aziz  
N.O. One  

Chulmleigh Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Chulmleigh Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
166 (43.0 overs)

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ben Youngman22.0268417.003.09
Emdad Aziz7.013500.005.00
Ben Yarde-Buller7.002600.003.71
Fraser Chave7.003047.504.29