Norfolk playing Suffolk three times in two days at Manor Park

Norfolk’s competitive season gets under way over the Bank Holiday weekend with matches against neighbours Suffolk in two formats of the game.

The two sides meet at Manor Park on Sunday in the first round of the Minor Counties Knock-out Championship (11am) and will be returning to the same venue on Monday for two Twenty20 matches.

It’s a tough start to the new campaign after just two rounds of East Anglian Premier League matches but captain Ashley Watson is relishing the challenge.

“We will be up against a very good Suffolk side but if we play as well as we can, and work hard as a team, we can be successful,” he said.

“The team we are putting out is a good mixture of youth and experience, who all had a good work-out in our warm-up match against Essex seconds, and we are all looking forward to the three games.

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“We are hoping for a good run in the 50 over competition, having been knocked out in the quarter-finals by Shropshire last year, while we reached the finals of the Twenty20 at Wormsley last year and would like to get back there.”

Sunday’s game is a straight knock-out, with the winners taking on Cambridgeshire in the second round at Exning on June 2.

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In contrast the Minor Counties Twenty20 competition is played on a group basis, with further double headers coming up against Cambridgeshire (Sawston, May 26), Bedfordshire (Manor Park, June 9) and Hertfordshire (Harpenden, June 16).

Norfolk’s batsmen came up against England paceman Tymal Mills in the corresponding Twenty20 fixtures last season but he is unavailable for his home county this time around due to injury.

Norfolk (both days, from): Matt Plater, Sam Arthurton, Jason Reynolds, Tom New (wkt), Stephan Marillier, Will Rogers. Ashley Watson (capt), Ben Coote, Callum Metcalf, Brett Stolworthy, Ryan Findlay, Andy Hanby.

Suffolk (KO Trophy from): Jaik Mickleburgh, Jack Beaumont, Darren Batch, Ben Shepperson, Michael Comber, Josh Cantrell, Tom Rash, Adam Mansfield (capt/wkt), Ben Reece, James Poulson, Natt Hunn and Jake Foley. For Monday Beaumont and Comber stand down and Alex Oxley comes in.

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