James Spelman lights up Norfolk Festival of Cricket again with second superb century
- Credit: Tim Ferley
James Spelman produced his second superb batting display in successive games yesterday to put Norfolk in an strong position on day one of their Minor Counties Championship clash with Lincolnshire at Manor Park.
The in-form batsman followed up last week's 131 in the Festival opener against Buckinghamshire with 158 this time around as the hosts made an impressive 339-9 in their 90 overs.
Lincolnshire's openers also looked at home when their reply got under way, although skipper Chris Brown claimed a late wicket as they finished the day of 64-1.
After Brown had won the toss it was no surprise to see Norfolk bat first on another glorious day, and it quickly became clear that it would be another tough one for the bowlers.
Spelman and his regular club and county opening partner Sam Arthurton set about laying a solid platform for the innings and played sensibly to get the score up to 59 before Arthurton was stumped off the bowling of Jonny Tattersall for 39. From then on Norfolk made smooth progress as a series of batsman provided the support that Spelman required to build his huge innings. Jordan Taylor (34) helped him put on 72 for the second wicket and then, after Ben France had gone cheaply, Garry Park and Lewis Denmark featured in stands of 34 and 32 respectively.
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By the time Denmark went for eight Norfolk were past the 200 mark and the run feast continued as Spelman reached three figures and then went past 150, with James Hale also scoring at a good rate at the other end. The pair had put on 92 for the sixth wicket when Spelman's marathon knock finally came to an end as Alex Willerton trapped him leg before. His second ton of the Festival had spanned 247 balls and 289 minutes and included 17 fours.
Hale was still there at the end on 43 while Brett Stolworthy (19) helped blast a few quick runs to further strenghten Norfolk's position.
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Batsmen also had the upper hand when Lincolnshire began their first innings, with Louis Kimber and Tattersall putting on 58 for the first wicket before the latter was caught by Arthurton off Brown for 35.