BEN Brown and Mick Hall both hit half-centuries as Uttoxeter romped to an eight-wicket victory at Derby Congregational seconds in their Derbyshire County League Division Five season opener on Saturday.
The hosts were all out for 157 in their opening innings, as Uttoxeter destroyer-in-chief Rory Middleton took four wickets in a devastating 10-over spell of bowling.
And though the visitors had an early scare when both openers Gavin and Tom Hall (pictured) fell for five runs apiece, the third-wicket partnership was unmovable, and eased their side towards victory in the 32nd over of their replay.
Derby Congs had lasted just two overs longer before being skittled out, although it took Uttoxeter a while to make the breakthrough.
Openers Sulaiman Khan and Moshin Ayaz hung around for 11 and 25 runs respectively, before the former was caught out by Gavin Hall off Michael Skelham and the latter was run out.
Skipper Skelham, who ended with figures of 2-33, also did for number three Ansar Maqsood (10), out lbw shortly after breaking into double figures.
However, a fourth-wicket stand between Ali Shakil and Adil Rafique threatened to see the hosts to a fine total, as they put on 68 runs between them.
Once they were gone though, the tail only wagged to the tune of 37 more runs – from the final five batsmen – as Middleton ripped through it on his way to an admirable 4-48.
Uttoxeter’s Jan Kasperowicz (1-45) and Steve Brookes (1-4) claimed a wicket apiece to mop up the final two wickets.
The visitors would have been confident of chasing down their hosts’ total, but that optimism wavered when the opening Halls fell for a combined 10 runs, Gavin caught by Haaris Zamir and Tom lbw, both to Usman Siddiqi (2-32).
However, though Derby Congs’ captain Siddiqi tried seven different bowlers, including himself, to try and dislodge Mick Hall and Brown, they remained immovable, guiding their team to victory for the loss of no more wickets.