James Spelman lights up Norfolk Festival of Cricket’s first day

James Spelman acknowledges his century. Picture: TIM FERLEY

James Spelman acknowledges his century. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

The sun wasn't the only thing to shine on the first day of this summer's Norfolk Festival of Cricket.

Sam Arthurton plays off his leg. Picture: TIM FERLEY

Sam Arthurton plays off his leg. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

The annual event got under way in glorious conditions yesterday with the hosts welcoming Buckinghamshire for the start of both county's latest three-day Minor Counties Championship Eastern Division fixture.

Norfolk won the toss and elected to bat at Manor Park with James Spelman and Sam Arthurton – team-mates at East Anglian Premier League Great Witchingham – looking to get their side off to a positive start.

They soon went beyond the 43-run partnership they put on 24 hours earlier for the Witches and took their stand beyond 100 before Arthurton was removed for 53.

Jordan Taylor chipped in with a decent 36 to keep things ticking over as Spelman reached his own personal century.

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He was eventually removed, caught and bowled by Michael Payne, for a fantastic 131 having lit up the first day of the festival.

Spelman's knock included 16 fours during a gruelling 280-minute stint in the sweltering conditions.

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Garry Park and Lewis Denmark made sure they played their part in Norfolk securing maximum batting points as their first innings closed after 90 overs on a massive 336-7.

Payne was comfortably the visitors' most impressive operator taking four wickets for the loss of 66 runs.

Bucks' reply did not falter despite having spent a long time in the field with Shaan Khan and Alex Woodland keeping their wickets intact until the close of play.

The duo had helped the away side end the day on 56 for no loss, 280 runs behind Norfolk's total.

The sides resume their contest at 11am today with the weather expected to be beautiful once more.

Admission prices remain the same as they did yesterday.

Entry is free to members, £4.50 for adults, £3.50 for seniors and £2 for under-19s, with parking £3.

Norfolk will be looking to make early inroads as they attempt to steer their way towards a maiden victory in the three-day format this year.

A rain-affected draw at Cambridgeshire was soon followed up by a defeat on the road at Staffordshire.

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