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I couldn't have wished for any more says Brown after big Norfolk win

PUBLISHED: 15:19 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:19 29 June 2018

Chris Brown marked his return to county action with a five wicket haul at Sleaford. Picture: TIM FERLEY

Chris Brown marked his return to county action with a five wicket haul at Sleaford. Picture: TIM FERLEY

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Norfolk captain Chris Brown admitted he could not have wished for any more after guiding his side to an emphatic victory in their opening Minor Counties Championship match of the season.

An away fixture against Lincolnshire, Eastern Division champions for the past two years, was a tough challenge to say the least, but Norfolk came through it with flying colours.

They ended up winning by 10 wickets after bowling out their hosts for 293 and 223 and piling up an impressive 413-6 in their first innings, and Brown was delighted with the performance of every member of his dominant team.

“We have performed really well with the white ball to reach the National Twenty20 Finals and now we have shown what we can do with the red ball as well so it has been a really good start to the season,” said the county’s three-day captain. “It was a really good performance from start to finish. It was a flat pitch which never really deteriorated so it was really important that we bowled well, got our lines and lengths right, and that is exactly what happened. To bowl a side out twice on a pitch like that was an excellent achievement.

“We also batted really well to get up above 400, with Sam Arthurton (155) playing a brilliant innings and other people chipping in.”

With the ball Brown and Ashley Watson, Norfolk’s one-day captain, picked up 10 wickets between them while there was also an eye-catching contribution from 16-year-old seamer Callum Melcalf, who had match figures of 4-40. The Horsford starlet also weighed in with an unbeaten 52 and with fellow new boy Will Rogers making 40 it was a debut to remember for the two youngsters.

“I have watched their progress for a long time, and age doesn’t come into it - they showed what they could do at Sleaford,” said Brown. “Callum is now with the Nottinghamshire Academy while Will has had a taste of it at Northants and both did their chances of playing in the next game no harm at all, as did all the players. I really couldn’t have asked for any more.”

Brown has been kept busy recently with his role as director of cricket at Gresham’s School while he has also spent time as spin consultant with the Zimbabwe one-day team, but he will now be focusing on Norfolk and his club Horsford.

• Norfolk Under-14s beat their Suffolk counterparts by four wickets at a sun-drenched Framlingham College.

Suffolk elected to bat first after winning the toss and adopted a swashbuckling style from the off, with the first ball going for six.

But the Norfolk bowlers stuck to their task and the introduction of spin tore through the top and middle order, Harry De-Coteau Spring returning figures of 10-5-16-3 and Cameron Graveling 10-3-27-3 to leave Suffolk 98-7.

They eventually managed to get up to a respectable 176 with Joe Wicks taking the final two wickets courtesy of Ben Wilcox catches.

In reply Freddie Fairey (44) and Cameron Tasker (18) laid excellent foundations to allow Lohit Kannan to build a patient 41 before Wilcox (15) and Sam Utting (38) hammered home Norfolk’s advantage.

Jonty Black (8) and Kannan looked to have sealed the game before both fell with just two runs required. Harry Nunn despatched his third ball for four to complete a deserved win with more than 12 overs to spare.

Great Barn Farms Holidays Norfolk man of the match was De-Coteau Spring.

At the other end of the age scale Norfolk’s over-50s entertained Leicestershire at Overstrand. A fine knock of 56 not out by Jonathon Wills saw Norfolk to 178-9 and in reply the visitors reached their target for the loss of five wickets with seven overs to spare.

The over-60s team travelled to Loughton to take on a strong Essex side who made a competitive 220-4. In reply Norfolk started well, with Peter Coote (65) and Clive Adams (45) making inroads, but once they were out Norfolk collapsed to 173 all out with Martin Southwell taking 7-25.

At Diss the over-60s seconds bowled and fielded well to restrict Leicestershire to 148-7, Neil Wynn taking 4-23. Norfolk went on to win by nine wickets thanks to good knocks from Geoff Roper (70) and Keith Daykin (46 not out).

The over-70s travelled to Southwold to play Suffolk and an opening partnership of 146 between Nobby Cobb (39) and Richard Taylor (139) saw them reach 242-2. The game was later abandoned when a home player was taken ill.

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