On a gloriously sunny day when everyone thoroughly enjoyed safe socializing.
There are many hoops to go through before a National Counties fixture takes place. The regulations say that eight of the team must have a combined age not exceeding 200 years. Seven Norfolk players were born in the county so a criteria option was met. Other considerations, if necessary, can be that you must play your club cricket in the county and/or to have risen through the academy ranks when selection is finally undertaken.
Mark Footitt (352 first class wickets) was ruled out with a calf injury but this supposed silver lining was negated by the twelfth man Lincolnshire debutant Ben Wright (over 6,000 club runs) stabilising their innings with an unbeaten 55 in a 111 sixth wicket partnership with Matt Carter ( Nottinghamshire pro). The latter got his fifty off 34 balls (took 8 balls for his first run) in 23 minutes. His eight booming sixes came off balls 16,21,24,26,41,48,50 and 52. The recipients of his onslaught were Budinger (4), Metcalf (2), Watson (1) and Findlay (1). Alas on a number of occasions the steepling shots were frustratingly out of reach of fielders on the boundary.
Callum Metcalf brilliantly caught a tracer bullet shot at waist high away from his body that was arrowing for a six just a foot inside the ropes in the vicinity of the main scoreboard.
The ‘run out’ King (first performed this feat as far back as 2008) Sam Arthurton set a county record with three such dismissals in one innings with two direct hits and an assist by Tom New. The last time three run outs occurred in an innings was in 2016 and Sam was responsible for two of those. Plus he held a catch and got another half century (50 off 76 balls in 96 minutes). I had visions of him carrying his bat (he was 5th out) as Norfolk crumbled.
Steve Goldsmith hit 85 in 1999 on his 50 over debut for us so there was hope that Sol Budinger or ‘Huddy’ de Lucchi could get close to the target. Sol, with a classy style, hit his stride with 28 runs in an eleven ball spell. The final match score does not reflect that Norfolk were in the game for quite some time. We were ahead of the run rate at 30 overs but by the end of the 34th over we were 37 runs behind.
The 31st over was our undoing being a nine ball over from Kimber that saw his 5th ball claim Tom New’s wicket.
In the same over ‘Huddy’ had a three ball golden duck after facing two consecutive wides.
Norfolk took wickets on 111 and 222 but it was not to be as we slipped to our 8th defeat in thirteen 50 over games against Lincolnshire.
Report by Mike Davage