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Norfolk aiming to take another step towards first Minor Counties East title for 17 years

PUBLISHED: 07:45 17 August 2019

Oliver McGee has his stumps re-arranged after going for a big hit off Ashley Watson during Norfolk's two-day win over Northumberland last time out Picture: TIM FERLEY

Oliver McGee has his stumps re-arranged after going for a big hit off Ashley Watson during Norfolk's two-day win over Northumberland last time out Picture: TIM FERLEY

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Norfolk will be aiming to maintain a dream run at the annual Festival of Cricket on Sunday when they take on Buckinghamshire in their final home game.

Ashley Watson's side have turned on the style so far at Manor Park to win both their fixtures inside two days and the display of strength has given them a wonderful opportunity to win the Minor Counties Championship East Division title for the first time since 2002.

Norfolk sit top of the table, 12 points ahead of second placed Staffordshire, who they visit for their last regular game of the season.

That means Ashley Watson's team will have a chance of lifting the title at Longton no matter what happens over the next three days.

But they know another win would put them in an extremely strong position and could even clinch the title should Staffordshire fail to win their game against Bedfordshire at Luton, which also gets under way on Sunday.

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Norfolk's side shows one change for the win over Northumberland last time out, with the experienced Ryan Findlay now available following family commitments.

He replaces young seamer Thomas Nudd, who stepped in for the injured Ben Coote two weeks ago. The inclusion of the Horsford skipper will strengthen Norfolk's batting line-up while also giving Watson important support in the spin department.

Young Great Witchingham seamer Will Means, who made his debut in the second game of the Festival, retains his place.

Former Norfolk allrounder Garry Park, now 36, is in the Buckinghamshire line-up.

Norfolk: M Plater, S Arthurton, J Reynolds, T New (wkt), S Marillier, W Rogers, R Findlay, A Watson (capt), B Stolworthy, A Hanby, W Means.

Buckinghamshire: M Khan, A Woodland, C Macdonell, M Payne, G Park, D Maries, D Ogden, R Pritchard (wkt), T Hampton (capt), C Haddow, S Croft.

The Festival concludes next Wednesday when Norfolk Lions host Bedfordshire (11am). The county's development team went down by eight wickets against Cambridgeshire at Saffron Walden on Thursday after making 233 (Billy Buckingham 61, Sam Clabburn 45, Matthew Bint 43).

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