Norfolk go 12 points clear at top of Minor Counties table after another two-day triumph
Norfolk moved 12 points clear at the top of the Minor Counties Championship East Division table on Monday after completing their second two day win in succession.
Ashley Watson’s team followed up their nine wicket win over Lincolnshire in the opening match of the Festival of Cricket by seeing off Northumberland by six wickets as their skipper completed match figures of 10-106.
Norfolk will now be aiming to cement their lofty position against Buckinghamshire in game which gets under way at Manor Park on Sunday before next month’s final fixture away to Staffordshire, who currently occupy second position.
None of the healthy crowd would have expected to see a result when day two resumed with Norfolk on 128-2, 204 runs in arrears.
Jason Reynolds and nightwatchman Andy Hanby held firm for the first 30 minutes before Reynolds edged Adam Hickey to keeper Michael Richardson. Professional Tom New joined Hanby who after staunch resistance for 65 minutes was bowled by leg spinner Oliver McGee for 26.
Stephan Marillier and New then took the total to 240 with a 75 run partnership before Marillier was run out for 37 from a direct hit by Tom Cant.
After lunch Will Rogers hit an enterprising 24 before being stumped and Watson was the next to go, bowled by McGee for three. Brett Stolworthy supported New until the latter went to skier for 73 and helped steer Norolk to a first innings deficit of just 18, with their final total 314-9.
Hanby removed opener James Thompson with the second delivery of the innings as Northumberland replied. Better was to follow when the same bowler dismissed the dangerous Hickey to a smart catch by Stolworthy in the gully. Stolworthy then joined the party when Marillier took a catch to dismiss Richardson and Northumberland were rocking on 32-3.
Hanby trapped Marcus Brown leg before for his second duck of the match before the introduction of Watson paid immediate dividends when he bowled opener Hewison for 38.
There was a buzz of anticipation around the ground when debutant Will Means claimed his first Minor Counties wicket after finding the edge of Cant’s bat and Watson then cleaned up the tail, finishing with the excellent figures of 5-24.
Northumberland were all out for 96 leaving Norfolk with a victory target of 115 and Sam Arthurton continued his good form and despite losing partners saw his side home with an unbeaten 61 including six fours and three sixes to register his second half century of the match.