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Norfolk reach 160-1 at Sleaford after bowling Lincs out for 293

PUBLISHED: 07:59 25 June 2018

Sam Arthurton moved to within 14 runs of another ton for Norfolk. Picture: TIM FERLEY

Sam Arthurton moved to within 14 runs of another ton for Norfolk. Picture: TIM FERLEY

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Norfolk made a solid start to their Minor Counties Championship campaign at Sleaford yesterday - with returning skipper Chris Brown playing a prominent role.

Chris Brown marked his return to county action with a five wicket haul at Sleaford. Picture: TIM FERLEYChris Brown marked his return to county action with a five wicket haul at Sleaford. Picture: TIM FERLEY

The 43-year-old spinner no longer plays one-day cricket for the county, but he remains a force to be reckoned with in the longer form of the game, a point he proved with a five wicket haul against Lincolnshire.

With new boys Andy Hanby and Callum Metcalf also making their mark the hosts were bowled out for 293 in the 77th over and Norfolk then proceeded to knock off over half the deficit before the close as they ended the opening day on 160-1, with opener Sam Arthurton unbeaten on 84.

The home side won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat first on a glorious morning.

Norfolk struck early when Hanby bowled Joe Kendall for two before Karanjit Bansal and Louis Kimber steadied the ship with a second wicket partnership of 54.

Metcalf grabbed his maiden Championship wicket to get rid of Bansal for 42 and when Brown opened his account for the season by having Rawait Khan caught by Brett Stolworthy the hosts had slipped to 107-3.

Any thoughts of a collapse soon disappeared however as Kimber and Daniel Freeman got together for another good partnership of 84 to take their side up towards the 200 mark.

Ben France then got the key wicket of Kimber, caught by guest professional Tom New for 89, and after Freeman had been trapped lbw by Brown for 65 Lincolnshire quickly went from 232-5 to 259-9 as the skipper completed another five wicket haul for his county.

That should have been that but 34 were then added for the 10th wicket by tailenders James Kimber and Alex Willerton before Metcalf came back into the attack to bowl the latter and complete respectable figures of 2-30.

Brown finished with 5-60 from 25 overs while one-day skipper Ashley Watson was the other wicket-taker, weighing in with 1-56 from 15.

Norfolk needed a solid start in reply and certainly got it as Arthurton and Jason Reynolds got down to work.

They withstood all Lincolnshire could throw at them, while also scoring at a decent rate, and had put on 136 for the first wicket when Alex Willerton finally made the breakthrough, bowling Reynolds for an excellent 56 in 106 balls.

Former Leicestershire wicket-keeper/batsman New then came in to join Arthurton and together they saw Norfolk through to stumps with no further alarms, with a total of 160-1 coming up in 42 overs.

Arthurton finished the day just 16 runs short of a century after facing 127 deliveries while New was unbeaten on eight.

Play resumes at 11am.

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