AN INCREDIBLY destructive spell of bowling from Ben Brown saw Uttoxeter move up to second in Division Five South of the Derbyshire County League with a 105-run thrashing of Alrewas 2nds.
Mick Hall clattered his way to 68 at the Racecourse Ground as the hosts made 171-7, before Brown took over with the ball, taking five wickets from five overs for just nine runs to skittle Alrewas out for just 66.
Visiting captain Gareth Lewis won the toss and elected to bowl, but the signs were good as the wicket was quite soft after the previous week’s rainfall.
Uttoxeter lost three early wickets – Ashley Young, Tony Hayes and Adam Johnson – which left the home side in a spot of trouble.
The experienced Hall steadied the ship and put pressure on the fielders with good batting and quick singles.
Brown joined Hall at the crease and both batted well, hitting the bad balls to the boundary and slowly managed to gather some momentum.
The pitch had looked like a par score would be around the 150 mark, and Hall was in determined mood to ensure his side reached this.
Brown went for a well fought 20, bringing Marcus Mellor to the crease, who instantly found the boundary but fell for 10 to a ball that shot straight along the floor.
Hall started to dominate the attack, taking a particular fancy to Ryan Ware – hitting him for 14 in one over.
Jan Kasperowicz added to the momentum, hitting some lovely shots over the top and was keen to pressure the fielders with some sharp running.
Ware then bowled Kasperowicz for 12 before John Millward was dismissed for four with the goal of 150 still in sight.
Enter skipper Michael Skelham, who instantly set about propelling his side’s total, hitting the ball to all parts finding the boundary and running hard between the wickets to finish on an unbeaten 18.
Hall finished with 68 not out in what was a marvellous innings, showing great determination.
In reply, Johnson and skipper Skelham opened the bowling and instantly found some good swing, which was very encouraging.
Johnson struck in his second over, as Hall took a wonderful one-handed catch behind the stumps to remove Lewis for five.
Skelham joined the party in the next over, trapping Steven Jones leg before for one, and Uttoxeter had the start they were looking for.
The home side had some hard work ahead as opener James Fern looked in good form, managing to keep the bowlers out with some nice shots along the way.
Johnson (pictured) did make the breakthrough though, when he clean bowled Sam Weston for a duck.
Skelham was then replaced by Brown and he instantly made a huge impact, bowling James Fern for 24.
In his second over he cleaned up Billy Hodgkinson for seven, and then James Rowland with his very next delivery for a golden duck.
Uttoxeter’s tails were up and Brown was charging in like a man on a mission, bowling with great pace and accuracy but getting the ball to seam about.
It was definitely Brown’s day as he had Ware expertly caught at slip by Tony Hayes for two and then completed his five for with the wicket of Ross Burr for 11.
Rory Middleton had replaced Johnson and he put the game to bed, clean bowling Matthew Inglis for a duck to ensure maximum points for the town side.
Next week’s fixture is away to top of the league Yoxall, with only one point between the two sides.