Negative tactics leave a sour taste for big hitting Uppingham

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Young guns Tom Hubbard and Harry Butchart blasted Uppingham Town to a winning draw away at Houghton and moved Town up to third in Leicestershire League Division Three on Saturday.

Having lost the toss and been inserted on a wicket that had been pummelled by the bad weather, and a slow soft outfield, batting looked treacherous for Uppingham early on.

Only Hubbard was able to negotiate conditions, in what looked likely to be a low scoring encounter. Although finding some support from Danny Dumford (17), Hubbard was playing something of a lone hand as Uppingham managed only 80-4 from 30 overs, which had included only four boundaries.

Meman for Houghton had bowled a tidy spell and done much to restrict the scoring rate bowling his 12 overs straight through for only 17 runs, while Dibbs at the other end had picked up 2-18 from 6.

However, Hubbard seized the initiative as the slow bowlers were introduced to the attack. He did not so much step up a gear, as jumped to light speed as he plundered a six to bring up his fifty and then three more maximums to give the innings real momentum.

At the other end, 17-year-old Harry Butchart then joined the party as the dazed Houghton attack could only watch on.

By the time Butchart carved his third six of the innings to the midwicket boundary and bring up his own fifty, Hubbard and Butchart had put on 71 in 11 overs.

If that was damaging to Houghton’s prospects, Butchart simply rubbed salt into the wound as his fifth maximum was despatched high into the Leicester sky and deposited into the car park and through the back window of a Honda Civic.

When Hubbard fell on the boundary for an excellent 72, Butchart simply carried on adding a further three sixes to take his personal tally to eight and moved the Uppingham score to 195 before he too holed out for a brutal knock of 84 from only 48 balls.

When Harry Wade split the cover field to bring up two from the final delivery, Uppingham closed on 201-8, with 131 runs coming from the final 15.

Uppingham knew that only 10 wickets would be enough for victory and when Donald Butchart took a looping catch off the bowling of Alex Ashwin the hosts were 4-1.

However, Scudamore and Silver dug in and prevented a further breakthrough, and for a time seemed to be taking the hosts into a position where a run chase was on.

Danny Dumford had bowled 8 overs without luck, before 17 year Harry Wade was brought into the attack. Not for the first time this season, it proved to be an inspired move as the left handed Silver overreached for a ball and Jamie Dumford stumped him to break the partnership.

Not satisfied with that, Wade then removed Scudamore for 32 with an excellent catch by Ashwin, and then took his third wicket of an excellent spell of bowling spell of 7 overs 3-27.

Houghton, at 79-4 from 30 overs, were on par with Uppingham’s innings, but opted to stifle the game and play for a draw. Uppingham threw everything they had to try and force a further opening, with Tom Wharton and Scott Green both picking up a wicket, but nothing could be done to prevent a draw.

Ashwin (1-19 from 11 overs) and Dumford were reintroduced and the latter, picked up a couple of late wickets to finish with 2-27 from 11, but the win ultimately eluded Uppingham as Houghton closed on 110-8.