Austin back in the fold for Norfolk
Leg-spinner Robbie Austin returns to the Norfolk side for their opening one-day match as they set out on the road to Lord's. The 29-year-old Austin did not figure in the first eleven last season but is included for the opening MCCA Knockout Trophy match against Lincolnshire at Manor Park on Sunday(11am).
Leg-spinner Robbie Austin returns to the Norfolk side for their opening one-day match tomorrow as they set out on the road to Lord's.
The 29-year-old Austin did not figure in the first eleven last season but is included for the opening MCCA Knockout Trophy match against Lincolnshire at Manor Park (11am).
Norfolk, winners of the Minor Counties one-day title for a record fourth time in 2005, will be desperate to improve on last season's record in the 50-over competition, when they suffered three defeats and a washout.
A twin spin option, with Old Buckenham's Austin and off-break bowler Chris Brown, of Horsford, is seen as a winning combination by skipper Paul Bradshaw, who leads the pace attack with Ian Slegg.
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Bradshaw said: "We're going in with two slow bowlers, with Carl Rogers combined with Chris Borrett's seamers making up the fifth bowler.
"Martin Addison, who has played a lot of one-day cricket for us, has had a hernia operation and Richard Moores, by his own admission, has been disappointed with his bowling in the first two friendlies.
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"Robbie has never been out of the picture and with Robbie we know what we're going to get."
Austin bowled tidily in both pre-season games, against Jersey and Essex II, and though both ended in defeat, Bradshaw said they were a useful exercise.
He said: "The bowlers got some overs under their belts and the batsmen had time in the middle. There were good parts to it."
His own hamstring problem, which forced him to miss most of last season, has not troubled him this year.
Group Two, which is again completed by Bedfordshire, Suffolk and Staffordshire, represents a stern test for Norfolk, with only the group winners going through to the semi-finals in July. It means one defeat could be fatal.
Said Bradshaw: "Lincolnshire are one of the strongest sides - the best we played in three-day cricket last year and a good one-day side, too. I expect we will come up against a four-man seam attack.
"The first game will set the tone and this time I hope we go into the last group game knowing a win will put us into the semi-final.
"We should have the advantage of a dry wicket. Most people have had more cricket by this stage than in previous years and it's certainly the earliest competitive county game I can remember playing, but it's the same for Lincolnshire."
The MCCA Knockout Trophy final will be at Lord's on Monday, August 27.
Norfolk - C Amos, C J Rogers, J M Spelman, T R Ward, C R Borrett, M O Wilkinson, L T S Newton (wicket-keeper), C Brown, P J Bradshaw (capt), I R Slegg, R J Austin. 12th man: J C Mickleburgh.
Lincolnshire - M P Dowman (capt), M C Dobson, S R Mason, P G Cook, V Atri, R W Cook, J Trower, S Webb, O E Burford (wicket-keeper), S J Airey, E J Wilson, J S Miles.