Another Staffs clash beckons for Norfolk

Ashley Watson on his way to a half-century in Norfolks rain-affected three-day draw at Cambs in May.

Ashley Watson on his way to a half-century in Norfolks rain-affected three-day draw at Cambs in May. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Tim Ferley

Norfolk resume their Unicorns Minor Counties Championship campaign with a trip to Staffordshire this weekend.

Chris Brown's team started their three-day season at Cambridgeshire in May, when rain forced a draw as Norfolk closed on victory.

The weather again thwarted Norfolk in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy, with a quarter-final at Staffs settled by a bowl-out, ahead of the teams meeting again on Sunday.

'It obviously still smarts a bit, being beaten in a bowl-out, but that's one-day cricket and this is Championship cricket,' said Brown.

'We are looking forward to continuing the good form we showed at Wisbech before we were interrupted by the weather. Hopefully we can get good weather for three days and get in a full game. It's been a bit stop-start so far but we were in a very strong position at Wisbech, only needing 100 to win with eight wickets remaining when the rain came down.'

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Two changes to that team have been enforced, with batsman Jordan Taylor unavailable and bowler Adam Todd nursing an Achilles heel and calf problem. In come Horsford's Robbie Bridgstock and Swardeston bowler Tom Oxley, with Brown expecting another tight battle with Staffs. Batsmen Jimmy Hale, Matt Plater (still recovering from injury) and Matt Warnes (unavailable) will also miss the match at West Bromwich Dartmouth CC.

'They are similar to us in that they try to stick with the same group of players in both formats,' the Norfolk skipper continued. 'The league they select from, the North Staffs and South Cheshire League, is strong so we expect another tough challenge.'

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Norfolk: Sam Arthurton, James Spelman, Ben France, Lewis Denmark, Garry Park, Ashley Watson, Robbie Bridgstock, Chris Brown (C), Brett Stolworthy, Sam Groves (WK), Tom Oxley.

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