It was as if he’d never been away. South African run-machine Dale Campbell launched the new season as he signed off the last one to give HUCKNALL a convincing start to their 2015 promotion push.
Opener Campbell, who made such a deep impression on all at the New Gatehouse Ground in 2014, cracked 81, including 15 fours, as Hucknall took Notts Unity Casuals to the cleaners in Division A of the Gunn And Moore South Notts League.
It laid the base for a huge total of 304-7 from their allotted 50 overs, and although Casuals hung on for a losing draw at 153-9, few in the Hucknall camp were complaining after such an authoritative display.
Campbell shared partnerships of 66 with Robin Maxwell (25, four fours) before the skipper was run out in a mix-up, and 62 with Lee Smith. When he edged a catch to the ‘keeper, he was disconsolate to have missed out on a century, but the runs kept coming.
Smith went on to make a fine, if not chanceless, 58 (eight fours) and put on 54 with new signing Waheed Kayani (29, one six and five fours) before the assault continued via another fresh recruit, Suhail Ahmed (34 not out, five fours), Adam Scott (19 not out, three fours) and Jack Pates (17). Such was Hucknall’s domination that one of Unity’s bowlers, ex-Rolls-Royce Leisure man Saleem Karim, went for 111 runs in 16 overs -- the most expensive spell by an opposition bowler ever seen at the ground.
The visitors’ reply began promisingly with a first-wicket stand of 43. But they were gradually worn down by spin twins, Dane Straw (2-35 in 16), who showed outstanding control on his debut. and Scott (2-27 in 14), and also by Suhail, who returned 4-25 in only seven overs.