Norfolk face tense final day at Manor Park as they chase 152 for victory
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk will be aiming to complete a clean sweep of victories at the annual Festival of Cricket on Tuesday - and take a step closer to the Minor Counties Championship East Division title.
Ashley Watson's side will start the final day of their match against Buckinghamshire needing 152 to win with nine wickets standing after bowling out the visitors for just 169 in their second innings.
Should they pull it off Norfolk will be guaranteed a lead going into their final game at closest rivals Staffordshire, who look certain to win their match against Bedfordshire after their hosts slipped to 64-5 chasing an unlikely 450 for victory.
A good day's cricket started with Norfolk presenting county caps to Brett Stolworthy, Tom New and Andy Hanby.
Norfolk resumed their first innings 132 runs behind with six wickets remaining and the task was not made any easier when Stephan Marillier (12) and Will Rogers (17) were trapped in front by Connor Haddow.
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There followed a partnership of 44 between nightwatchman Hanby and Ryan Findlay who fell leg before to Stephen Croft for 30. Hanby had really dug in but soon lost skipper Watson, who was bowled by Croft for two. After 155 balls at the crease Hanby's determined effort came to an end when he was caught straight after lunch by Charlie Macdonell off the bowling of Croft for 29.
Brett Stolworthy and Will Means added 37 for the last wicket, with Stolworthy striking two sixes in an unbeaten 32 to take Norfolk to 226-9, a first innings lead of seven.
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Norfolk made inroads into the Buckinghamshire batting when first Hanby trapped Alex Woodland leg before for four before Watson claimed the prize wicket of Masoor Khan for 31 when the score was 69. This was the key for Norfolk to take a stranglehold on the match with Findlay bowling Michael Payne for two before Watson removed both Macdonell and Garry Park to leave Bucks struggling on 86-5. Findlay then took the wicket of Dan Marles before Watson got rid of Cameron Parsons after a lively partnership of 55 with Robin Pritchard. Hanby cleaned up the tail with the last three wickets, leaving Buckinghamshire all out for 169. There were four wickets each for the two leading wicket takers in this year's Championship, Watson with 33 and Hanby with 29.
Needing 163 for victory Norfolk were 11-1 at the close, with Matt Plater having been dismissed for six, caught off the bowling of Parsons by Khan.