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Baptism of fire for Uppingham after heavy opening defeat

Ben Farnsworth top-scored for Uppingham.
Ben Farnsworth top-scored for Uppingham.

Uppingham Town suffered a baptism of fire on their Leicestershire League Premier Division debut after a heavy 118-run defeat at Barrow Town on Saturday.

Asked to bowl first in the hot conditions, Town’s bowlers initially found themselves on the end of a barrage of boundaries as Ramesh Kara and Jack Nightingale raced to 30 before Tom Hynes pegged back Kara’s off stump.

Rishi Patel joined Nightingale and the runs continued to flow freely until the introduction of Mark Cox and Scott Green into the attack.

The slower bowling stemmed the flow and then started working through the home line-up as from 99-1 they fell to 159-7 and the prospect of an attainable target was in sight.

Coming in at number eight, Pradeep Chanditha had other ideas though as he marshalled the tail – with a dose of luck after being bowled off a no ball – by adding 152 for the final three wickets before he was last out for 97.

Chanditha cracked seven fours and six sixes as he made 97 off 64 balls before being caught by Green off the bowling of Nathan Hall.

Green was the pick of the Uppingham bowlers, taking 3-39, while Hynes also claimed three wickets. Youngster Hall chipped in with 2-34 on his first team debut with Cox and Ashwin bagging one each.

Chasing a mammoth 302 to win, Town set off at pace with Sam Hodson (12) scoring all his runs in boundaries and, while Ben Farnsworth was at the crease, there was hope.

However, the loss of Farnsworth, Andy Cross and Kash Munir within the space of 10 balls derailed the chase.

Spin proved to be the undoing of Uppingham as Umar Afzal and Sardeep Salgotra claimed a combined 7-46 from their 20 miserly overs. Hall was last to fall with the score at 183.

Farnsworth top scored with 63 (off 66 balls, including seven fours and a six) while some lusty blows from Ashwin down the order saw him to 25 after hitting two fours and two sixes.

Things didn’t get any easier on Sunday as Uppingham travelled to Kibworth in the Premier T20 competition.

With Market Harborough withdrawing, there would be just the one game with the winner progressing to finals day.

The hosts’ top three blasted the ball around with ease as they raced to 199-4 from their 20 overs.

Skipper Sunny Patel was initially overshadowed by Matt Craven’s 31-ball 55 (four fours and three sixes) before he raced through the gears falling for 72 from 52 balls (eight fours and a six).

Aadil Ali narrowly failed to become the third home player to reach his half-century, falling for 49 off 33 balls which included seven fours.

Danny Dumford’s 2-45 meant he was the top wicket-taker while Alex Ashwin with 1-36 was the only other successful bowler.

In reply Uppingham stumbled out of the blocks as two maidens were delivered in the first five overs, leaving the score at 7-0 and Town way behind the run rate.

Once again Farnsworth top-scored with 45 (40 balls, including four fours and three sixes) but boundaries were hard to come by with the other batsmen combining for just three fours and a six.

Cox chipped in with 26 but Uppingham closed out their overs on 106-6 in losing by 93 runs.

Two games, two heavy defeats and plenty for Town to ponder and work on before this weekend’s first home Premier Division game against Loughborough Town at Castle Hill.

Uppingham 2nds missed out on victory in a close Division Seven East contest at home to Barksby 3rds who ran out winners by 16 runs.

The visitors had made 194-5 from their 45 overs with Tom Runcorn returning 3-50 from his 10-over spell.

Graham Pritchard (79) led the Uppingham reply and was well supported by Billy Beaver (25), however, a mid-order collapse proved costly for Town.

Their last pairing of Runcorn (12) and Jamie Lammie (13) offered hope, but they fell just short in their bid to get Town over the winning line.

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