Chris Brown and Ryan Findlay guide Norfolk to timely victory over Hertfordshire
- Credit: Archant
Chris Brown and Ryan Findlay took seven wickets between them as Norfolk claimed an impressive first Minor Counties Championship win of the season at Manor Park yesterday.
The Horsford spinners turned on the style on their home wicket to bowl out Hertfordshire for just 159 and secure an emphatic 194-run success.
An exciting climax to the first match of the annual Norfolk Cricket Festival saw the visitors reach the comparative comfort of 119-3 in their second innings, before losing their last seven men for just 40, with Brown and Findlay doing all the damage.
Skipper Brown finished with the eye-catching figures of 4-22 from 17 overs, with Findlay not far behind with 3-34 from 16.1.
Their combined efforts turned what could have been a frustrating draw into a morale-boosting win – and Norfolk will now be aiming to continue the good work when the second Festival match against Staffordshire begins on Sunday.
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The hosts started the day firmly in the driving seat, having made 335-8 in their first innings and then dismissing Hertfordshire for 283 before moving confidently on to 146-2 at stumps on Monday evening.
With a lead of 198 Norfolk had to press on the set up a declaration and first innings hero Sam Arthurton again played the starring role as they did just that.
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With a brilliant 172 on day one behind him, and resuming on 41 in the second innings, the Great Witchingham batsman was quickly into his stride and looked certain to make another 100 until James Southgate found the edge and he was caught behind for 96.
His latest sublime knock spanned 113 balls and included 10 fours – but this was no one-man crusade against a struggling Hertfordshire attack.
Garry Park also played a key role, contributing 73 to a third wicket stand of 157 that guided their side into a position of complete control.
Both men went in quick succession to leave Norfolk on 257-4 and Ben France, Matthew Warnes and Brett Stolworthy then all chipped in as the hosts got past the 300 mark.
As soon as that milestone had been achieved Brown declared, with Hertfordshire 353 runs in arrears and facing a tough battle to save the match.
Norfolk's victory charge was set up by young seamer Adam Todd, who had Herts skipper Ed Ballard caught behind by Sam Groves off the second ball of the innings.
A couple of run-outs, with James Spelman and Brown both hitting the stumps, had the visitors in further trouble, but there was then some overdue resistance, with Tanweer Sikandar (58) and Dan Blacktopp (35) slowing down the Norfolk victory charge.
Any fears of a frustrating conclusion soon disappeared however as Brown and Finday got to work.
Herts had soon slipped from 119-3 to 139-9, with three batsman going for ducks, and the only resistance came from last man Prithvi Sarvaiya who had made 18 when his last wicket partner Sam Smith was caught by France off the bowling of Findlay.
Norfolk resume their Minor Counties Championship campaign against Staffordshire on Sunday.