Brett Stolworthy strikes to leave Norfolk’s match at Staffordshire intriguingly poised
Staffordshire took full advantage of being put into bat on day one of Norfolk's resumed Unicorns Minor Counties Championship campaign.
Visiting skipper Chris Brown elected to field first at West Bromwich Dartford but it proved to be a day for the batsmen – with Norfolk also making a good start to their innings.
Staffs began steadily before Ben France struck twice, removing home skipper Kadeer Ali for 15 and then Tom Steele for a duck to leave the hosts on 40 for two.
It was opener Sam Kelsall who proved to be the problem though, his partnership of 119 with Peter Wilshaw finally being broken when Ashley Watson had the latter caught behind by Sam Groves – the first of five catches for the wicketkeeper.
That left Staffs on 159 for three, before Tom Oxley took a wicket on his debut to remove Dan Ball for six.
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Kelsall then built a partnership of 70 with Michael Hill to move the score along to 250 for five, before Oxley made a diving catch to dismiss Hill for 36 off the bowling of Brett Stolworthy, who soon took the key wicket of Kelsall as well.
The former England Under-19 batsman was caught by Groves off Stolworthy's bowling to leave Staffs at 269 for six, having struck 115 from 243 balls, including 13 fours.
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The Norwich bowler took his third wicket soon after, removing Brinder Phagura for a six-ball duck, as Groves took his fifth catch.
Two wickets for Brown saw the hosts close on 325 for nine in 90 overs, leaving Norfolk time to have a go with the bat themselves, with both sides taking maximum bonus points from a lively opening innings.
Opening batsman James Spelman (22) and Sam Arthurton (16) safely navigated 17 overs late in the day to leave Norfolk on 42 without loss – leaving the game intriguingly poised.
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Suffolk scored 110-5 in the first match but Norfolk fell seven runs short of their target, with Lauren Hemp scoring 40. Hemp then scored 51 in an 131-3 total against Cambs to set up a 62-run success.