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Uttoxeter CC knocked off top spot after being held by Winshill

By Uttoxeter Post and Times  |  Posted: July 18, 2014

HITTING OUT ... Uttoxeter's Alan Johnson made valuable top-order runs

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UTTOXETER slipped to second in Derbyshire County League Division Five South after being held to a draw in a run-laden match with promotion outsiders Winshill.

Returning skipper Michael Skelham lost the toss and opposite number Phil Jones asked Uttoxeter to bat first.

Duncan Wright opened the bowling and immediately dispatched Ashley Young, bowled in the first over.

Ben Brown at the other end was looking in supreme touch, seemingly finding the boundary at will in the early exchanges.

Mick Hall was the next to go, caught by a superb catch by the keeper off the bowling of Jones for a duck.

Adam Johnson joined Brown and the scoreboard began accelerating at a terrific rate as Johnson cleared the mid-wicket boundary to get off the mark with a six.

Brown was looking to get on top of the bowling and had raced to 30, 28 of which were in boundaries.

Johnson then hit Jones for five consecutive fours as he kept over-pitching, only to then trap Johnson lbw for a quick-fire 30 with one that kept low.

The score was now 78-3 inside the first ten overs and some stability was required.

Uttoxeter were soon four wickets down as Brown followed caught and bowled by Wright for 39.

Gavin Hall and Tony Hayes had the job of rebuilding and Hayes hit three exquisite drives to the boundary before perishing to a mistimed shot to point.

Tom Hall joined his younger brother at the crease and this was to be the partnership that recovered the innings for Uttoxeter.

Gavin Hall was stumped for a fine 37 after leading a terrific recovery, and his brother followed, also stumped, for 24.

Marcus Mellor was bowled behind his legs by Neil Winfield and Jan Kasperowicz soon followed.

This left five overs to go of the Uttoxeter innings and with only 180 on the board, the score was looking very light.

Enter Skelham and Rory Middleton, who raced the total along to finish on 233 off the 46 overs, both hitting the ball crisply to the fence and running hard.

Skelham relinquished the new ball to Ben Brown after his devastating opening burst the week before and he and Johnson started well.

Nick Martin and Nigel West opened the innings for Winshill. Johnson struck first in his fourth over, finding the edge of Nick Martin and Mick Hall took a breathtaking one-handed catch at second slip.

Brown was replaced by Middleton from the pavilion end and immediately struck, removing West for 33 as he looked well set, feathering a catch to the grateful Tom Hall behind the stumps.

Middleton struck again two balls later when he clean bowled Kazmi for a duck.

John Chambers was put down first ball to a very difficult chance in the slips and then he and Ed Moore set about a good partnership.

Johnson then got the prized wicket of Moore, although he had Mick Hall to thank again, taking a beautiful one-handed catch at slip.

Uttoxeter had their tails up and, with Winshill four down, started to think 27 points was a possibility.

Skelham replaced Johnson and struck in his second over to dismiss Chambers (31).

Gavin Hall replaced Middleton and was bowling well, with the game hanging in the balance and Winshill fractionally behind the rate.

However they had wickets in hand and the game was there for the taking by either side.

The wicket of Chambers brought the destructive Matthew Clarke to the crease and he set about Skelham, hitting him out of the ground and he did the same to Hall.

Uttoxeter were only too aware of the danger that Clarke posed from encounter earlier in the season, when he had led Winshill to victory.

Skelham decided to change the attack and take the pace off the ball at both ends, introducing Kasperowicz and Hall, which has been so successful all season.

Clarke skied the second ball off Kasperowicz and it looked like it was heading straight for Johnson on the long off fence, only for it to clear him and the rope for another six.

The game was swinging in Winshill's favour until Clarke went for one too many big hits and was bowled by Hall in the next over for 49.

The tide had swung back in Uttoxeter's favour, especially when Kasperowicz struck after a smart catch from Hall behind the stumps to leave Winshill seven down.

This brought Winshill captain Jones and Neil Winfield to the crease, and they both used their experience to guide their team within 25 runs of the total before Ben Brown demolished Winfield's stumps with the penultimate ball of the innings, Winshill finishing 213-8.

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