New makes century as Norfolk get off to solid start in Festival

Tom New is congratulated by Ben France after completing his first century for Norfolk Picture: TIM F

Tom New is congratulated by Ben France after completing his first century for Norfolk Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk made a solid start to the annual Festival of Cricket on Sunday, with professional Tom New taking centre stage.

The 33-year-old former Leicestershire man made exactly 100 as Chris Brown's side got up to 302-6 in 90 overs against an in-form Staffordshire outfit at Manor Park.

It was a decent effort against a side who have won all three of their matches in the Minor Counties Championship East Division so far - and there was another boost for Norfolk before the end when they claimed an early wicket to leave the leaders on 54-1 in reply.

With the sun beating down on a super fast outfield it was no surprise that Brown opted to bat first after winning the toss and, after the early loss of Jason Reynolds for just four, Sam Arthurton and New batted sensibly to put on 58 for the second wicket.

The exit of the former for 35, trapped leg before by Tim Maxfield, brought Will Rogers to the crease and the youngster teamed up with New for a partnership that was worth 113 and took the home side all the way up to 182.

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Rogers had made exactly 50 was he was out leg before to Paul Byrne, but New was still going strong at the other end and put on a further 38 with the recalled Matt Plater (19) before finally being bowled by Robert Yates just after reaching three figures.

His first century for Norfolk since taking over professional duties from the unavailable Rob Taylor was made off 207 deliveries and featured 12 fours.

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Norfolk's progress, while pleasing, had not been particular swift however and it needed a bright unbroken seventh wicket partnership of 45 between Ben France (38 not out) and Brett Stolworthy (18 not out) to get Brown's men over 300 before the 90 overs were up.

Having put in a more than respectable show with the bat it was then down to Norfolk's bowlers to show what they could do.

They knew it would be a tough task against an in-form batting side on a hot afternoon but started well, with Andy Hanby having Sam Kelsall caught by Ashley Watson for 10 with just 19 runs on the board.

That was to prove the only breakthrough of the day however as former Worcestershire and Gloucestershire star Kadeer Ali and Alex Mellor saw Staffordshire through to the close without further loss.

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