‘Brilliant’ showing against Hertfordshire has got Norfolk on track
- Credit: Tim Ferley
Norfolk's season has burst into life with a victory described by captain Chris Brown as 'a brilliant team performance'.
Brown's side beat Hertfordshire with three wickets to spare in the opening match of the Norfolk Festival of Cricket, after a frustrating start to the three-day season.
A draw in Bedfordshire and a two-wicket loss in Suffolk left Norfolk towards the wrong end of the Unicorns Minor Counties Championship table, albeit with a game in hand.
Home advantage has helped turn the tide though and confidence levels will be high when the festival continues at Manor Park this Sunday, when that game in hand is played against Staffordshire.
'It was a brilliant team performance over the three days,' said Brown, whose off-spin claimed 4-23 on the final day. 'The lads played really, really well, fought hard and we thoroughly deserved our 24 points.'
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Sam Arthurton's outstanding 172 had set Norfolk on their way to victory in the first innings, in a total of 325 for eight, before falling just four short of another century in the second innings.
'It was a faultless innings scoring heavily on both sides of the pitch, off front and back foot,' Brown said.
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'Myself and Sam had a conversation last week regarding the sweep shot (after facing several overs from Adam Riley and James Tredwell in his second XI match against Kent for Derbyshire) and Sam has now re-found the ability to sweep in front of square versus off-spin, which will only expand his scoring opportunities further.'
There was also a great spell of bowling from Garry Park in the first innings to leave the visitors on 176 for six – taking four wickets for 10 runs in under 10 overs – before Brown was joined by Ryan Findlay (3-33) in wrapping up the win on the final day.
'Garry Park stopped their momentum with a great spell but their number 10 and 11 did very well so we ended up with a lead of 52,' the Norfolk skipper added.
'On a pitch as good as that, any lead is handy, but the whole team played really well to win the game. It was a thoroughly rounded team performance, everyone contributed so we were really chuffed with the result, and there was a good crowd so the members were happy, and so were the players.'