Norfolk hit back after being bowled out cheaply by Cumberland in second 2017 Festival of Cricket game
The opening day of Norfolk’s Minor Counties Championship match against Cumberland at Manor Park ended with the scores level yesterday - but with the visitors still having four wickets in hand.
After electing to bat first Chris Brown’s side were grateful for a half century from opener Sam Arthurton as they lost wickets at regular intervals before being dismissed for 162.
In reply Cumberland had a star of their own in the shape of Ross Zelem, who was still there at the end on 68 as they closed on 162-6, with a late wicket for Ben France giving Norfolk a much needed boost.
Looking to push on after a frustrating draw against Suffolk in the opening match of the annual Festival of Cricket, the home side lost James Spelman for a duck and Jason Reynolds for two before an attractive cameo from Rob Taylor was cut short with 15 runs to his name from just nine deliveries.
At 44-3 Norfolk needed to consolidate and they did just that as Arthurton and James Hale put on 74 for the fourth wicket. It was looking promising with those two at the crease, but when the former was bowled by Toby Bulcock for a 92 ball 59 that featured nine fours the rot set in again.
Hale went almost immediately for a watchful 21 and although France threatened to lead a recovery his exit for 16 prompted a collapse that saw Norfolk slump to 144-8, with Brett Stolworthy and Brown both failing to trouble the scorers.
Ben Coote smashed two fours and a six to add a few more runs, but it was a disappointing total for the home side, with Liam Grey (4-51), Bulcock (3-44) and Adam Syddall (2-12) doing the damage.
Cumberland’s innings followed a similar pattern to Norfolk’s, with three wickets going down for 48 before a good fourth wicket partnership got them back on track.
Zelem and Gary Pratt put on 53, and when the latter departed Mattie McKiernan helped the opener add another 31.
Norfolk needed a touch of inspiration to keep them in the game and it was provided by France, who finished the day with figures of 4-57, after taking eight in the match against Suffolk.
France bowled McKiernan for 18 and then had Grey caught by Taylor off the final ball of the day to set the scene nicely for day two.