Norfolk maintain bright start to season with 10-wicket victory
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk maintained their impressive start to the season by cruising into the quarter-finals of the Minor Counties Unicorns Knock-out Trophy at a sun-drenched Manor Park yesterday.
Ashley Watson's side reduced visitors Bedfordshire to 26-5 before bowling them out for 165 and then knocked off the runs required without loss with over 15 overs to spare.
Jordan Taylor (87) and Sam Arthurton (72) needed no help from anyone else as Norfolk booked another home tie in the last eight against Oxfordshire, who saw off Hertfordshire by three wickets at Welwyn Garden City in the revamped competition.
That game will take place on June 10, with the next action at Manor Park coming in the Minor Counties Twenty20 competition on Sunday, when Cambridgeshire will be the visitors for back-to-back fixtures.
Having won both games in the opening double header against Suffolk earlier this month with something to spare these are exciting times for the county's one-day side, and they rarely looked like faltering in their opening home game of 2018.
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Skipper Watson lost the toss yesterday - but even that worked out in Norfolk's favour as Bedfordshire made an awful start after electing to bat first.
Opening bowlers Rob Taylor and Ben France took five wickets between them to leave the visitors in desperate trouble and it took a stand of 86 for the sixth wicket between Andy Reynoldson (72) and George Darlow (31) to get them anywhere near a defendable total.
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Once they had gone there was little resistance, save for a bright little cameo of 22 from Tom Brett, as Bedfordshire were dismissed in the final over for a well below par total.
Taylor finished with the impressive figures of 5-24 from his full 10 over stint while France (2-32), Ryan Findlay (2-27) and Ben Coote (1-47) also got in on the act and the skipper sent down 10 tidy overs for 25.
There was still a job to be done, but openers Arthurton and Taylor quickly got down to work to end any fears of a comeback from the visitors. Taylor finished just 13 short of three figures after hitting nine fours and a six in a 95 ball knock while Arthurton's 112-ball 72 included seven boundaries.