Borrett wants to shine for county

DAVID CUFFLEY Chris Borrett is hoping to take his club form into the Minor Counties Championship arena as Norfolk prepare to face Eastern Division leaders Lincolnshire.


Chris Borrett is hoping to take his club form into the Minor Counties Championship arena as Norfolk prepare to face Eastern Division leaders Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire appear to have a distinct psychological advantage going into the three-day match starting at Cleethorpes tomorrow (11am) after winning their first two championship matches of the season - and enjoying a five-wicket victory over Norfolk in the MCCA Knockout Trophy at Lincoln Lindum in June.

But despite the county side's five-week break from action, and the prolonged absence of captain Paul Bradshaw with a hamstring injury, Borrett is confident they can raise their game and mount their own challenge in the championship.

The 26-year-old Norwich skipper said: "We've now got four games coming up in quick succession with the Lincolnshire game and the festival, we know where we are in the league and if we can win two or three we can be up there challenging.

"Losing Brads is a big blow because he's been our best bowler for the past two or three seasons and he's a wicket-taker.

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"But now this is an opportunity for people like Michael Eccles, Martin Addison and Richard Moores."

Borrett was one of the few Norfolk batsmen to shine in the one-day match against Lincolnshire, scoring 58 and sharing a fifth-wicket partnership of 100 with Matthew Wilkinson - after a disastrous start left them seven for four.

He said: "Lincolnshire are a good batting side with the bowlers to back it up, so it's going to be tough for us. Cleethorpes is supposed to be a good batting wicket, so I would expect a few runs to be scored."

Borrett will be hoping to supply his share after blasting 88 from 36 balls for Norwich in Tuesday's Norfolk 20/20 Cup win over Old Buckenham at Manor Park.

He said: "I've managed to score a few runs since the pitches became harder and flatter and the ball has been hitting the middle of the bat.

"At Norwich we've won our last two East Anglian Premier League matches, which alleviates the pressure on myself and I think has helped my batting, and the win over Vauxhall Mallards last week gave us a lot of confidence. We've also won all three 20/20 Cup games, and if you are winning any sort of game it helps."

Vice-captain Carl Rogers will continue to lead Norfolk against a Lincolnshire side who beat Northumberland by 276 runs at Sleaford in their opening championship game, then defeated Cumberland by 35 runs at Netherfield.

But Lincolnshire captain Mathew Dowman insists their one-day victory over Norfolk will have no bearing on the championship clash.

"Some people will look at the fact we beat them earlier in the season as an omen, but I don't," said Dowman.

"One-day matches are totally different to the three-day format and you can't read too much into our victory at Lindum.

"Neither side had anything to play for in that fixture and that perhaps had something to do with Norfolk's performance.

"We had them seven for four at one stage, but they have quality in their side and you can't expect that scenario to happen again.

"In the past we've had some very good games with Norfolk. They are a good side and we need to be at our best to maintain our winning run."

Norfolk field the same eleven who drew with Suffolk in their opening three-day game at Mildenhall in May.

Batsman Rob Cook returns to the Lincolnshire side after missing the Cumberland game.

Cook made his maiden championship century against Norfolk with 102 not out at Manor Park two years ago, Borrett getting his first championship ton with 111 in the same match.

Lincolnshire (from): M P Dowman (capt), M C Dobson, S Mason, V Atri, J Trower, P G Cook, R W Cook, O E Burford (wicket-keeper), D S Lucas, S J Airey, J S Miles, E J Wilson.

Norfolk: C Amos, C J Rogers (capt), J M Spelman, T R Ward, C R Borrett, R D Moores, C Brown, L T S Newton (wicket-keeper), M P Eccles, I R Slegg, M A Addison.