Norfolk lead by 242 with 10 wickets standing going into final day against Staffordshire
PUBLISHED: 09:35 07 August 2018
Norfolk moved into a position of strength on the second day of their opening Festival match against an in-form Staffordshire side - and will now be looking to complete the job.
Skipper Chris Brown led the way with four wickets on another hot day at Manor Park as the visitors were bowled out for just 206 in their first innings, a deficit of 96.
And Sam Arthurton and Jason Reynolds then pressed home the advantage by putting on an unbeaten 146 for the first wicket, leaving Norfolk 242 ahead going into the final day.
There’s still plenty of work to be done if the hosts are to inflict a first defeat of the summer on the early pacesetters in the Minor Counties Championship East Division, but Brown’s team could hardly have wished for a better first two days to their home campaign.
Starting on 54-1 in reply to Norfolk’s 302, Staffordshire got off to a solid start, with Kadeer Ali and Alex Mellor taking the score to 99-1 before Brett Stolworthy had the latter caught behind by Sam Groves for 20.
Stolworthy then struck with his next delivery to bowl Peter Wilshaw for a duck - and it wasn’t long before the visitors had slipped to 137-7, with Stolworthy adding to his tally and Brown weighing in with three wickets.
Former county cricketer Kadeer, who watched the carnage unfold at the other end, finally found a willing accomplice in the form of Brinder Phagura, who helped him add 43 for the eighth wicket.
But Ashley Watson then became the second Norfolk bowler to strike twice in succesive balls as he had Phagura stumped by Groves for 17 before trapping Dan Richardson leg before.
Kadeer had just last man Paul Byrne for company but together they added a further 36 to take their side past the 200 mark before the opener’s marathon effort finally came to a close when he was caught by Tom New off Brown for an excellent 124 in 231 balls.
The skipper finished with figures of 24.2-7-43-4 - a superb effort in the stifling conditions - while Stolworthy took 3-35 and Watson 2-32.
Batting looked a lot easier when Norfolk’s second innings got under way and although it still wasn’t straightforward to get the ball away Arthurton (88 not out) and Reynolds (50 not out) scored at more than three an over to take their side up to 146-0 at the close.