Photo gallery: All smiles at Manor Park as Norfolk beat Suffolk in style

Norfolk v Suffolk Unicorns Minor Counties Championship at. Manor Park, Horsford. Norfolk take the wicket of Michael Comber.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY. Norfolk v Suffolk Unicorns Minor Counties Championship at. Manor Park, Horsford. Norfolk take the wicket of Michael Comber. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
9:17 AM

There was plenty for Norfolk to celebrate last night after securing their first three-day victory of the season in memorable fashion.

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A 91-run win against local rivals Suffolk was wrapped up before tea in front of a healthy crowd of around 200 on the final day of the Norfolk Festival of Cricket.

It ended a near faultless three-day match for the home side, to prompt plenty of smiles at Manor Park.

Captain Chris Brown returned from a calf injury to claim the 400th wicket of his Minor Counties Championship career, with all but 26 of them having come for Norfolk.

Opening batsman James Spelman also passed 4,000 runs in the Minor Counties Championship with a second innings knock of 88 and Ben France not only took career-best figures of six for 33 with the ball but also scored a vital 66 with the bat.

“We played some brilliant cricket against a brilliant side, on all three days, with bat and ball so we’re all really pleased to get the 26 points,” Brown said after victory was secured.

All that is before even mentioning a second century in two matches from batsman Sam Arthurton, who was named man of the match after an 164-ball 113 against Suffolk followed a huge 166 in last week’s draw with Bedfordshire.

“Sam’s played really well but it’s not just Sam, there were a few big milestones passed during the game,” Brown continued.

“Ben France took his career best of six for 33, Spelers (James Spelman) passed 4,000 championship runs and I got my 400th wicket myself, so some nice landmarks.

“I knew the pitch would turn a bit so I knew in the second innings I would bowl a long spell, so to pitch in with four wickets and take my 400th wicket, I was pleased.

“It’s a decent milestone to hit, that not too many people will have managed I would think.”

Those four wickets were particularly pleasing for Brown as he had missed close to a month of action after picking up a calf tear when playing for Horsford.

Suffolk had started day three on 99 for four, still 297 behind and with their chances of a comeback looking slim, after Brown had taken three late wickets at the end of day two.

Simony Guy and Michael Comber put together a partnership of 85 as Suffolk tried to resist but two wickets in two balls, firstly from Michael Eccles and secondly from Brown, left the visitors at 279 for nine.

That left Suffolk still needing 117 to win but Ryan Findlay had Russell Stockdale trapped LBW to seal Norfolk’s success.

Brown added: “It’s been a bit frustrating being sat on the sidelines the last month with this calf injury but the lads did really well and we’ll look to go up to Tring in Buckinghamshire in a couple of weeks and do well again.”

That match, Norfolk’s final three-day match of the season, starts on Sunday, August 17.

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