Norfolk’s bid for national glory ends at first hurdle
- Credit: PA
Norfolk's bid for national glory ended in disappointment when they were well beaten in the semi-finals of the Minor Counties Twenty20 competition.
Ashley Watson's side, who spent all Sunday watching the rain fall at the picturesque Wormsley ground in Buckinghamshire, lost to Cheshire by 46 runs when the competition finally got under way yesterday.
Watson won the toss and decided to ask the opposition to bat first, no doubt hoping that the combination of the previous day's rain and a 10am start would make it tough to post a big score.
But Cheshire openers Wayne White and Will Evans soon got into their stride and put on a swift 37 for the first wicket before the former was caught by Watson off the bowling of Brett Stowlorthy for 13.
That brought Luke Robinson to the crease and the runs continued to flow, with fours and sixes coming at regular intervals as a further 95 was added in double quick time.
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Ryan Findlay eventually bowled Evans for 76, but the damage had already been done, with the opener having hit five fours and six sixes in a knock that spanned just 36 balls.
With Cheshire on 132-2 the scene had been set perfectly for a late charge and Robinson and new batsman Edward Fluck didn't disappoint, with an unbroken third wicket stand of 70 taking their side past the 200 mark.
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Robinson finished unbeaten on 74, with six fours and four sixes, while Fluck contributed 30.
It was a tough morning for the Norfolk bowlers, who all took some stick. Ben France was the most economical, conceded 23 runs from the three overs he sent down, while Findlay's 1-29 from a full allocation was a respectable effort in the circumstrances.
Norfolk needed a good start to stand any chance of chasing down the huge target and didn't get it as Stephan Marillier was caught off the bowling of Curtley-Jack White with just six runs on the board. Jason Reynolds soon followed, run out for nine, before Sam Arthurton and Tom New mounted a recovery of sorts with a third wicket partership of 71.
It was a decent effort but by the time New was bowled by Rick Moore for 23 the asking rate had risen to over 12 an over and it soon became clear that Norfolk would be bowing out at the first hurdle.
When Arthurton went for a brave 70 in 47 balls, with six fours and two sixes, it really was all obver by the shouting and Watson's side finished well short on 156-7.
Cheshire went on to lose to Berkshire by six wickets in the final after being restricted to 130-6.