Mount Edgcumbe v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Sun 28 Aug 2022 at 2.00pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won By 6 Wickets
Match report by Martin Wright
Another golden late summer’s day, the leaves just starting to turn with the first breath of autumn, and with an easterly breeze behind us [OK, that’s quite enough scenic scene-setting – Ed.], eleven Erratics ferried their way over the Tamar to Mount Edgcumbe, on our annual international fixture.
Skipper Chris Cook lost the toss and we were in the field. Never too much of a privation on this most scenic [Careful! – Ed.] of grounds, with a soft afternoon sun bathing the grass, its light dappling the incoming tide as it rose over the mudflats [Right, that’s it! Anymore, and you’ll do the next one in rhyming couplets – Ed.].
Mount Edgcumbe started slow and steady, with openers Andy Ware – long a friendly thorn in Erratics’ side – and Rogers fending off a disciplined opening attack in the form of Anuj Tiwari and Dominic Prosser.
In time they were replaced by an equally tidy Phil Power and Chris Cook, interspersed with a solitary over from Erratics’ threbutant for the day, Sunsets’ Paul Carr. Paul is a beneficiary of Harry Everett’s coaching, and continued to benefit from it during this over, thanks to Harry’s Helpful Presence behind the stumps.
Mt E’s openers had added 104 before Ware, playing his first aerial shot of his innings, was considerate enough to hit it straight to me at long off, giving Phil his first wicket. He deserved it; he’d been bowling better than I’ve seen him do for a while, getting real turn while cramping the batters.
Before drinks, Rogers was out for a fine 42; and after drinks our bowlers nibbled away at the rest of Mt E’s line-up, with Harry bowling some fine testing leg spin, and Matt Crawford and Jon Perkin both turning their arms over to good effect.
Apart from Doherty, who timed the ball well for exactly 50, the lower order didn’t really fire; Erratics’ bowlers kept them tied down, helped by some fiercely committed fielding from, in particular, the ever athletic Matt and Anuj.
Bowlers and fielders alike stuck to their task, even when that involved ruthlessly snuffing out Mt E’s two plucky youngsters: the first was the victim of ‘Heartless’ Harry (aided and abetted by an Anuj catch); the second of John ‘Cruel’ Curtis – a beautifully well placed right footer into the stumps to run out the even younger plucky youngster.
All in all, restricting Mt E to under 200, after having conceded a ton without taking a wicket, felt like a decent effort.
Tea was taken – as in the drink, not the food, although hungry Erratics had sensibly brought their own.
Your correspondent opened with Jon Perkin. Somewhat early in my innings, I decided to essay what Harry on the journey down had generously referred to as “my shot” (a lofted thump back over the bowler’s head)… That brought Harry to the crease. Together, he and Jon accumulated steadily, before perishing in successive balls – Jon skying a catch, Harry feeding the legside trap.
Chris and Matt took over, and, weathering some fine bowling from Mt E’s varied attack, including some particularly testing in-swing from Ollie Hill, gradually opened up, eventually adding 97 to take us well within reach of the target. Chris hit some of his fine ‘two paces down the pitch and elegantly wallop it’ drives, and Matt, of course, unfurled a few trademark slog sweeps.
Scorer Phil and I, perched on the pavilion balcony, meanwhile, admired the creamy-yellow-blue horizon as the sun started to sink, a soft light on the calm grey waters of the Tamar, and in the far distance, the blades of three hilltop wind turbines, turning majestically in the early evening ai…[Oi! I’m still here you know! – Ed.].
Just as it looked as though we were strolling it, Matt fatally hesitated coming back for a second run, which brought President Martin Weiler to join Chris. At this point, Mt E unleashed Rogers, a fine fast bowler of premier league standard, and things started to look spicy.
I jotted down our progress, over by over…
Eight overs to go, 37 needed… Rogers steaming in, giving nothing away. A maiden.
37 needed off 7. Martin manoeuvers the ball round the field. Chris drives a languid four.
28 needed off 6. Rogers again. Chris survives a skewed chance. Martin lofts a couple.
If the editor will permit, I had to note here that “dusk is descending… shipboard lights twinkle on the Tamar. A strip of clear sky below the cloud bank awaits the setting sun…”.
25 needed off 5. Martin and Chris drive, cut and scamper. Then Martin out-Chris’s Chris with a majestic straight tonk. Surely we’re nearly there?
Next man in Prosser calms nerves by aiming some extravagant air shots on the boundary.
16 needed off 4. Rogers again…. Chris delicately leg glances to the fence, then mis-hits a lofted drive, which mercifully lands in space.
9 needed off 3. Ollie Hill, fresh from his three wickets earlier, comes back into the attack… Chris flicks to midwicket in the air – and is dropped! Then skies a mis-hit – which again lands in space – before on-driving gloriously to the fence - his backlift getting higher, arcing with more of a flourish, as the finish line approaches.
3 needed off 2. Rogers takes a longer run. Martin dabs a single. The sun silvers the cloudline… so nearly there… then Chris flicks a four - the sun bursts out under the cloud, and it’s Erratics Triumphant – Unicorns Rampant!
And we win with an over and two balls to….
No, wait a minute.
It turns out that, due to some inconceivable scorer muddle, we didn’t have an over to spare after all – but just two balls. Somehow, we had marked the scorebook to show 20 overs remaining, when in fact there were just 19. Out in the middle, Chris and Umpire Jon had realised this (working out which end the bowler started from when the final 20 were called). But, in true captain’s style, Chris had kept this knowledge to himself, not burdening our President with the pressure, and simply ensured he steered us home in what was, if anyone had asked, the real final over.
So, an excellent game, played in a very friendly spirit, and a “damn close run thing” at that. And before we left for the equally excellent St John pub, there was time for Erratics to savour a stunning sunset, the dying rays burnishing the woods and field with a patina of gold as [That’s it! Don’t say you weren’t warned – Security will now escort you off the premises – Ed!].
Mount Edgcumbe Batting
for 9 wickets
190 (46.0 overs)
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling
Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
for 4 wickets
Mount Edgcumbe Bowling
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