MCCA Knockout Trophy: Norfolk left to wait and hope as rain strikes again

Norfolk were again left frustrated yesterday as their MCCA Knockout Trophy match against Wiltshire at Horsford was abandoned because of rain midway through.

The result means that Norfolk have completed their group fixtures without finishing any of them – and they could find themselves knocked out depending on how the weather treats their rivals in the three remaining scheduled matches.

At least they got 50 overs in yesterday, Norfolk being bowled out for 181, before the rain arrived between innings to bring an early end to precedings.

After losing the toss and being asked to field, Norfolk openers James Spelman and Stephen Gray strolled out in overcast conditions.

They managed to survive the first five overs before Wiltshire got the breakthrough when Gray was caught off the bowling of Owen Alsop.

This brought Sam Arthurton to the crease and he looked confident straight away, particularly when scoring off his legs.

There followed a conservative spell of consolidation, with risky shots few and far between, before Spelman upped the tempo against Paul Robins, launching the ball over the mid-wicket boundary for six.

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Arthurton was playing nicely too and his drive down the ground for four came in the middle of a positive spell for the hosts.

The spin of Tahir Bhatt was then introduced and he bowled Spelman for 35 just as the opener was looking set for a substantial score.

Trevor Ward and Arthurton saw Norfolk through to 93-2 before wickets began to tumble. First Ward (10) fell to Morrison, before Arthurton (29) was trapped leg before by Bhatt.

This brought Peter Lambert to the crease and he and Luke Caswell weathered the storm before the former became the aggressor, constantly looking to get after the Wiltshire attack.

Lambert then fell for 34 and with this wicket appeared to go Norfolk's hopes of a big score. George Walker was superbly run out by Afridi, before Olly Stone, Caswell – who had stuck at it well to make 32 – Chris Brown and Paul Bradshaw fell in quick succession, leaving Norfolk all out for 181, with Afridi, Bhatt and Alsop claiming seven wickets between them.

As the players took lunch, however, the rain which had held off for most of the morning started to fall.

The conditions then worsened and at around 4pm, after an inspection from the umpires with the rain still pouring down, the game was abandoned.

With more matches to come next week, Norfolk will now have to wait and see where they stand with regards to qualification from their group.

Norfolk skipper George Walker said: 'It's disappointing. It started raining with about ten minutes to go before we left the field and it hasn't stopped. The only choice was to call it off. It's a case of waiting to see now. There are obviously some games to come next week and the week after.

'If they get the games in there is going to be two winners going through ahead of us which is frustrating.'


Norfolk v Wiltshire

Manor Park

Norfolk innings

JM Spelman b Bhatt 35

SK Gray c Bullen 9

SS Arthton lbw b Bhatt 30

TR Ward c Langford b Morrison 10

PA Lambert c Morrison b Bowler 34

LW Caswell b Afridi 32

GW Walker run out (Afrifi) 1

OE Stone c Morrison 1

PJ Bradshaw b Robins b Alsop 1

C Brown lbw b Afridi 0

MA Addison not out 2

Extras (b1 lb1 w22 nb2) 26

Total (47.4 overs) 181

Fall: 16, 66, 97, 97, 159, 164, 174, 179, 179

Bowling: Afridi 8-1-17-2, Alsop 8.4-1-30-3, Robins 3-0-28-0, Morrison 10-0-44-1, Bhatt 10-3-23-2, Bowler 7-0-37-1.

Match abandoned due to rain (1pt each)

• Remaining fixtures

Sunday, May 13: Shropshire v Suffolk, Wiltshire v Lincolnshire.

Sunday, May 20: Lincolnshire v Shropshire