Testing first day for Norfolk in latest Minor Counties match at Manor Park

Will Means in action during his debut for Norfolk against Northumberland Picture: TIM FERLEY

Will Means in action during his debut for Norfolk against Northumberland Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's bid to go top of the Minor Counties Championship East Division suffered a setback at Manor Park yesterday when opponents Northumberland had a good first day with the bat.

The visitors got up to 332 in their first innings as the home bowlers were made to toil on a bright but windy day.

The hosts' reply got off to an encouraging start, with Matthew Plater and Sam Arthurton putting on 116 for the first wicket, but both fell late in the day to further damage Norfolk's chances of getting the victory they need to overtake Staffordshire at the top.

Northumberland skipper Tom Cant won the toss and elected to bat first, with James Thompson and Tom Hewison adding 33 for the first wicket before a sharp catch in the gully by Brett Stolworthy off Andy Hanby brought the first wicket. Hewison was soon followed back to the pavilion by Thompson who was bowled by Stolworthy for 13.

Michael Richardson, who was recently released by Durham and has replaced Joe Gatting as the Northumberland professional, joined former Durham team mate Adam Hickey at the crease and the pair put on 97 for the third wicket. Richardson eventually departed leg before to Ashley Watson for 58 while Marcus Brown was bowled by Jason Reynolds without scoring just before lunch.


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Cant and Hickey had put on 61 when Hickey was caught by keeper Tom New off Watson for 78. A further 65 was added before Chris Peareth advanced down the wicket and was stumped by New off Watson for 40.

As Northumberland were looking to post 350 plus Hanby clean bowled Cant for 76 and it just remained for captain Watson to take the last two wickets to finish with 5-82 from 31.3 overs. Both Hanby and Stolworthy had two wickets a piece as Nortumberland were all out for 332 in 88th over.

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The Norfolk response started impressively, with Arthurton and Plater both playing well, and they had put on 116 when Arthurton was caught behind by Richardson off the bowling of McCreath for 56.

The same bowler clean bowled Plater for 53 one run later and it was left to Jason Reynolds and nightwatchman Hanby to see out the last five overs of the day.

Norfolk will resume this morning on 128-2, a deficit of 204 with a potential 52 overs to come.

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