Norfolk unable to maintain dream start as they suffer a double setback
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk were unable to maintain their dream start to the season in their second Twenty/20 double header of the season.
Ashley Watson's team went into the fixtures against Cambridgeshire at Manor Park on the crest of a wave after winning both their opening games in Suffolk before cruising into the quarter-finals of the 50 over a side competition with a 10 wicket victory against Bedfordshire.
But it was a different story on Sunday, with the visitors coming out on top in both games. They coasted home by 55 runs in the opener before winning a high-scoring second match by three wickets off the penultimate ball.
'It was a real shock to the system and perhaps a bit of a reality check for the lads,' said Watson. 'We had started the season well but you have got to be on your game if you going to come out on top. That wasn't the case today. We were well beaten in the first game and in the second we just didn't bowl well enough after posting a good score. We have just got to learn our lesson and make sure we are much better next time.'
In the opening fixture, which got under way in bright and breezy conditions, Cambridgeshire batted in impressive fashion to make 158-9 in their 20 overs.
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Eddie Ballard led the way with 63 while Paul Summerskill weighed with a useful 37 as the majority of the Norfolk attack took some punishment. A notable exception was Ben Coote, who conceded just 16 runs from his four overs while taking a couple of wickets.
For the first time this season Watson's men were under some pressure and scoring at eight an over proved beyond them as they quickly slipped well behind the asking rate, eventually being dismissed for a disappointing 103.
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In the second match Norfolk found their form with the bat to get all the way up to 194-4, with Sam Arthurton, Stephan Marillier and Rob Taylor all scoring brisk half centuries. But it still wasn't enough, with Cambridgeshire punishing some wayward bowling to sneak past a daunting target at the death.
Norfolk must now regroup for another two Twenty/20 games against Bedfordshire at Dunstable next Sunday before hosting Shropshire in the Minor Counties Knock-out Cup the following weekend (June 10).