Norfolk begin Unicorns Knockout Trophy campaign with dramatic final-ball victory

Cambs v Norfolk Cricket, On the run Chris Brown and Lewis Denmark.Picture: Steve Williams.

Cambs v Norfolk Cricket, On the run Chris Brown and Lewis Denmark.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Garry Park was the final-ball hero as Norfolk began their season with a dramatic four-run victory over Cambridgeshire.

Norfolk skipper Chris Brown won the toss at March and decided to have a bat first. After slipping to 31 for three the middle order stabilised the challenge for the visitors, with Lewis Denmark proving reliable with a crucial 66-ball knock of 40.

The Swardeston batsman added 28 with Ben France, 31 with Matt Plater and then 58 with Ashley Watson to nudge Norfolk's total up to 148 for six.

After finally being trapped lbw by Sam Rippington, the visitors soon slipped to 160 for nine. However, a late stand of 27 from Brett Stolworthy and Adam Todd – as well as Cambs being punished for some slow play with some penalty runs – saw the visitors finish on a decent total of 206.

France then struck twice in the first three overs to reduce Cambs to 11 for two and Todd had Asim Butt caught by Denmark for three to reduce the hosts to 13 for three.

Cambs pro Ben Smith, formerly of Leicestershire and Worcestershire, put on 55 with Craig Park and 48 with skipper Lewis Bruce but was finally removed by Brown on 55 to leave the home team on 149 for seven.

There was plenty of life left in the match yet though, with Norfolk pro Park coming to the fore with the wickets of Tim Young and Joe Dawborn.

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It all came down to the final over though, with Cambs needing a four from the final ball to draw, or a six to win, only for Park to trap David Sayer lbw and seal a four-run triumph.

Next up for Norfolk is a first home game of the season in the KO Trophy, against Lincolnshire at Manor Park on Sunday (11am start).