Great Witchingham form earns Hale a Norfolk shirt for home three-day clash against Cambridgeshire
A fine display in front of Norfolk captain Chris Brown has helped Great Witchingham's James Hale land a county call-up.
The pair were on opposite sides during an East Anglian Premier League fixture on July 18 which saw Horsford triumph by three wickets. But it was Hale's unbeaten 89 and 2-24 in defeat which caught the eye of Brown.
The 40-year-old was that impressed by the all-rounder's showing – as well as his current EAPL form – that he has named in his squad, in the place of the unavailable Matthew Warnes, for his side's latest three-day action, which starts on Sunday against Cambridgeshire at Manor Park.
Brown said: 'We've only made one change to the squad from our last match (drawn) against Staffordshire.
'Jimmy Hale comes into the side and he's been batting nicely. He's already had his first taste of Minor Counties cricket (last year) and his performances for his club means he deserves another chance.
'I played against him recently for Horsford and he batted really nicely. He played spin quite well which Cambs seem to rely on quite heavily. Plus he's a slow left-arm bowler who can give us another spin option at Manor Park if we need it.'
Hale's knock against Horsford, his fourth Witches half century in 2015, was his best score this term in the EAPL. Twice he has carried his bat for 49. He has been equally impressive with the ball often finding himself in the wickets – namely three times against Burwell, Swardeston and Vauxhall Mallards.
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The home Unicorns Minor Counties (Eastern Division) Championship clash against Cambs is the last action of this summer's Norfolk Festival. Unfortunately a fantastic three-wicket victory over Hertfordshire could only be followed up by a rain-affected draw against Staffordshire.
Brown added: 'Although the rain was very frustrating, and we hope for better weather this weekend, I don't feel we've lost any of our momentum from the Herts win. We've played some good stuff this festival and our performances have got better with each game.'
Play is scheduled to start at 11am each day of the match. Entry for non-Norfolk CCC members costs £4.50 for adults, £3.50 for seniors and £2 for 19s. Car parking is £3.