Borrett’s focused on crushing lowly Imps

Norfolk all-rounder Chris Borrett insists the Minor Counties Eastern Division leaders must take nothing for granted against rock bottom Lincolnshire tomorrow at Manor Park (11am).

Norfolk all-rounder Chris Borrett insists the Minor Counties Eastern Division leaders must take nothing for granted against rock bottom Lincolnshire tomorrow at Manor Park (11am).

The hosts know maximum points in their remaining three-day group fixtures against Lincs and away to Staffs will earn Norfolk a championship decider against probable Western table toppers Cheshire.

Norfolk crushed Bucks by 162 runs to move a point clear of nearest rivals Hertfordshire and Borrett wants a repeat to finish the festival on a high.

"We really can only focus on this next game," he said. "If we end up losing and other results go against us then we could find ourselves in the bottom half. That is how quickly it can change. Teams will come to Manor Park looking to knock us off top spot. That doesn't put any extra pressure on us because we'd rather be out in front than playing catch up at this stage.

"Lincs usually give us a good game. They're a strong side with good batters and bowlers. In recent years they've probably had the best of it but the weather is set fair and we're confident."

Lincs suffered their third successive rain-affected draw against Beds earlier this week, the Imps' scheduled fixture abandoned without a ball being bowled.

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"You just can't do anything about the weather," admitted Mark Fell, Lincs' director of cricket. "But we've been affected more than most. Other sides in the division have not endured the poor luck we've had with the weather - that's seven days out of 12 lost. Weather-wise, it's the worst season I can remember."

Norfolk's opening championship derby at Cambs was also a total washout but Borrett attributes the county's strong comeback to a settled squad.

Essex academy youngster Jaik Mickleburgh retains his place in an unchanged line up.

"Jaik and Stephen Gray have come in this season, but every else has their county cap," said Borrett. "It's a settled side, the team spirit is good and it's great to call on that sort of experience. We know each others' games inside out from playing at county level and against each other for our clubs.

"The side is so well balanced. There's no pressure on any one individual to go out and perform. You can just enjoy your cricket and concentrate on making runs or taking wickets."

Norwich's skipper has impressed with bat and ball during Norfolk's championship campaign. The versatile all rounder passed 2,000 runs in the competition during the Bucks romp. Borrett also claimed championship best bowling figures with 4 for 32 against Northumberland.

"I'm chuffed to bits with how it's gone," he said. "I did have the 2,000 mark in mind at the start of the season as a target but after the Cambs rain off I thought that might be it. I've had a couple of decent knocks since and to bring that up already is pleasing.

"It's nice to chip in with the ball as well, but we've got four frontline bowlers and I just class myself as a bits and pieces bowler."

Norfolk: C Amos, C J Rogers, J M Spelman, T R Ward, C R Borrett, J C Mickleburgh, C Brown, L T Newton (wicketkeeper), P J Bradshaw (captain), I R Slegg, M P Eccles.