Michael Eccles returns for Norfolk in MCCA Knockout Trophy clash

Michael Eccles will play for Norfolk tomorrow.

Michael Eccles will play for Norfolk tomorrow.

Norfolk skipper Chris Brown admits Michael Eccles' early season form was simply too good to ignore after recalling the Swardeston paceman for tomorrow's MCCA Knockout Trophy clash against Lincolnshire.

Eccles, pictured, has featured just once in the one-day competition since earning the man-of-the-match award by taking five wickets when Norfolk won the trophy at Chester-le-Street in 2009.

But after taking 13 wickets in the league this summer – a tally bettered only by Copdock's Australian Test player Peter George – Eccles returns in place of Martin Addison.

Brown said: 'He's bowling well in the league and he said himself he's getting more overs under his belt now.

'His economy rate in one-day games was quite high which was maybe why we branded him more as a player for the (three-day) Championship games, but as I've always said, good performances in the league will be rewarded.'

The other change from the five-run defeat to Shropshire on Bank Holiday Monday sees Harry Bush – who took five wickets in the previous match at Wiltshire – return in place of Dominic Reed.

New signing Reed was expensive against Shropshire and Brown added: 'For someone coming in from outside the county his performances have got to be exceptional, and he will admit that he didn't bowl at his best against Shropshire.

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'When he gets his opportunity again he will need to make sure that he makes an impact because we have some good young seamers in the performance squad who could come in, like Kieran Bunting and Will Dunger. Dominic understands the situation totally and he respects our decision.

'Having Harry back in the side gives us a chance to take the pace off the ball, which we didn't have against Shropshire. That could be crucial, regardless of the playing surface and having him in the side also strengthens our batting.'

The consolation in defeat to Shropshire was the fact that the run chase boosted Norfolk's run-rate – and that is what is keeping them above Lincolnshire in the table.

Victory in the remaining two Group Two games would guarantee Norfolk a place in the quarter-finals and Brown said: 'Of course we would like to win both games, but the weather could have a say and that makes run rate important as well. All we can do is try and beat Lincolnshire and that would put us right in the frame.'

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