Big challenge awaits Norfolk

Norfolk ended day one of their opening Minor Counties Championship match of the season on the back foot having lost the toss and succumbed to the Suffolk seam attack for just 150.

Norfolk ended day one of their opening Minor Counties Championship match of the season on the back foot having lost the toss and succumbed to the Suffolk seam attack for just 150.

They had endured a frustrating four-hour delay before their campaign finally got underway at 3pm at Mildenhall's picturesque Wamil Way ground. The delay had been caused by two significant sized damp patches at either end of the wicket both annoyingly on a good length.

With captain Paul Bradshaw declared unfit 24 hours earlier, newly- appointed vice-captain Carl Rogers found himself leading the side for the first time and it was down to the positive approach shown by him and Suffolk opposite number Phil Caley that the game was able to begin as early as it did. It was Caley making his 200th championship appearance for Suffolk who won the toss and unsurprisingly Norfolk were invited to bat first on the drying wicket.

The evergreen opening partnership of the two Carls, Amos and Rogers, made light work of any imagined demons in the pitch taking the score past 50 inside the first 15 overs. They were separated at 56 when Amos was bowled by Andrew McGarry for 32.


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McGarry then took two further quick wickets sending back James Spelman for a duck and Trevor Ward for four before Justin Bishop got in on the act from the other end trapping Chris Borrett lbw also for four to leave Norfolk in trouble at 79-4. The visitors then lost the crucial wicket of Rogers, the captain falling to a sharp, slick catch by Justin Bishop off the bowling of ex-England international spinner Chris Schofield for 36. However, the Vauxhall Mallards pairing of Richard Moore and Luke Newton steadied the ship to see Norfolk safely through to tea at 115-5.

After the interval the same pair pushed the score on to 142 before Newton was bowled by Paul King for 19 but his departure signalled the start of a collapse which was to see the final five wickets fall for eight runs in just 24 deliveries. Moore's departed lbw to Bishop for 26 and the tail subsided tamely to leave Norfolk 150 all out. The pick of the Suffolk bowlers was Paul King whose 9.1 overs saw him take four wickets for 26. Andrew McGarry weighed in with 3-67 from 21 overs as Suffolk comfortably overcame the loss of captain Phil Caley who had had to leave the field with what turned out to be a dislocated finger sustained when taking the slip catch that had dismissed Trevor Ward.

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In the final 20 overs of the day there was some success for the bowling attack with Martin Addison claiming two wickets and Ian Slegg one as Suffolk closed on 41-3, 109 runs behind. However further quick wickets and then a much improved batting performance will be needed on day two if Norfolk are to set Suffolk a challenging fourth innings target on the final day.

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