Norfolk still in the hunt for place at Twenty20 Finals Day
PUBLISHED: 09:12 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:12 30 May 2019
Norfolk still have a fighting chance of reaching the Minor Counties Twenty20 finals day for the second year running - despite sharing the spoils in their latest double header.
Ashley Watson's team won their opener against Cambridgeshire at Sawston by seven wickets before losing the second encounter by the same margin.
The mixed day saw Norfolk remain fourth in the five team Group Three table with two wins and two defeats to their name - but they are only two points behind leaders Hertfordshire with two rounds of matches still to be played.
Norfolk welcome bottom side Bedfordshire to Manor Park for their next fixtures on June 9 and maximum points would ensure there was everything to play for going into the finale against Hertfordshire at Harpenden a week later.
The other two sides above them, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, have played a couple more games for their six points, with Suffolk completing their fixtures at home to Herts in the next round.
An excellent bowling performance restricted Cambridgeshire to 133 in Sunday's opening match, with Brett Stolworthy and Andy Hanby taking 4-27 and 3-24 respectively from their four overs. A hard-hitting 66 from opener Stephan Marillier then helped see the visitors home with 14 balls to spare.
Norfolk set a decent target of 159-8 in the second game, with Sam Arthurton (35), Matthew Plater (33), Tom New (27) and Ben Coote (21 not out) all playing their part. But the hosts made short work of their rain-adjusted target of 129 from 15 overs, with some hard-hitting from Tim Moses (42 not out) and Rob Sayer (64 not out) seeing them home in the 13th.
Carl's new challenge
Former Norfolk captain Carl Rogers has taken on a new challenge - at the age of 48.
His vast experience is now being put to good use by Norwich as they adjust to life in the Norfolk Alliance following last season's relegation from the East Anglian Premier League.
It has been a testing start to the season, with Norwich lying sixth in the Premier Division after winning just one of their opening four games, but Rogers has quickly settled in after contacting skipper Chris Borrett to express an interest in playing again.
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Having featured for Ingham and Norwich earlier in his career he marked his return with an innings of 35 against Stow and shone in another losing cause against Downham on Saturday, stroking nine fours in a knock of 54 before bowling eight tidy overs for 26 runs.
Rogers will be hoping for more of the same - but with a different result - when Norwich welcome North Runcton to Postwick on Saturday.
Stow entertain Downham in a meeting of the top two while third placed Fakenham will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat in 15 matches against Brooke when they travel to Garbolidsham.
Having moved to the top of the table for the first time this season last Saturday Swardeston will be aiming to stay there on Saturday when they welcome Burwell and Exning to The Common.
Joe Gatting's side will be targeting a sixth straight league win against mid-table opposition while deposed leaders Frinton, who are still unbeaten, travel to a Horsford side who have made a solid start to the campaign.
The front-runners are separated by just four points, with defending champions Sudbury 35 points adrift in third.
Elsewhere Great Witchingham are at Mildenhall while struggling Vauxhall Mallards continue their search for an overdue win at Bury St Edmunds.
Norfolk over-50s suffered an eight wicket defeat against Suffolk at Sudbury after being restricted to 160-9 in their 45 overs. Alan Lithins and Patrick Dewing put on 49 for the first wicket, with Lithins going on to top score with 44.
The over-60s took on Cambridgeshire at Old Buckenham and won by five wickets. Maurice Dye, Clive Bennett and Andy Gregory all struck twice as the visitors made 169-7 and Norfolk recovered from a poor start to win comfortably as Robin Yates made 69, Clive Adams 31 and Clive Bennett 29.
The seconds went down by nine wickets to their Cambridgeshire counterparts after being dismissed for 117 on a tricky wicket that improved as the day wore on.
The over-70s entertained Suffolk at Mundford, with Ian Parkin starring with both bat and ball as they won by 26 runs. Parkin made 115 before being stumped, with Richie Davies adding an unbeaten 45 to help Norfolk up to 244-4. Suffolk began their reply with an opening stand of 109 before Parkin restricted the flow with 2-20 off nine overs and Suffolk closed on 218-8.