Brown moves up to second in the Norfolk standings on a rain-affected day
PUBLISHED: 07:02 14 August 2018
Norfolk’s match against Hertfordshire was cut short for the second day running - but there was still time for a little bit of history to be made at Manor Park.
Skipper Chris Brown brightened up a generally gloomy afternoon by claiming the scalp he needed to become the county’s second highest wicket-taker of all time in the Minor Counties Championship.
He went into the match level with the late, great Tracey Moore on 474 wickets - and moved above him when he bowled Ben Cowell for a duck to help reduce Hertfordshire to 111-6, a first innings deficit of 98.
That wicket apart it was a generally frustrating day for players and spectators alike, with overnight rain delaying the start before the second of two heavy showers saw play called off with only 39 overs having been delivered.
Norfolk did their utmost to make a game of it by declaring on their ovenight score of 209-6, with Tom New left unbeaten on 60, and once play finally got under way they quickly started to make inroads into the Hertfordshire batting.
Andy Hanby set the ball rolling by having James Scott caught by Brett Stolworthy for a golden duck and it was soon 24-3, with Ben France trapping Joe Cooke leg before for seven and Hanby having Tanweer Sikandar caught by Hanby for two.
Opener Steve Gale and skipper Reece Hussain repaired some of the damage to take the score past 70 but it wasn’t long before three more wickets fell to leave the visitors on 95-6, with their problems exacerbated by Gale having to retire when feeling unwell.
France, who bowled unchanged through the day, had Hussain caught by Ashley Watson for 16 and Hanby then trapped Dominic Chatfield in front of the stumps for the same score before Brown’s big moment left Hertfordshire in all sorts of trouble.
It was Brown’s 501st Championship wicket overall, following an earlier stint with Cheshire, and left only Michael Falcon, who took 690 wickets for Norfolk between 1907 and 1946, above him in the Norfolk standings.
The good news for the visitors was that Gale was able to return to the fray after a precautionary trip to hospital and he finished unbeaten on 44 as the visitors avoided further loss with the storm clouds gathering.
The onus is now on the two captains to come up with a formula to ensure the game doesn’t peter out into a draw - and that looks set to happen to give both teams a chance of going for the win.