Norfolk defeated despite Howes knock

The Shell-sponsored Norfolk Under-19's opened their season with the traditional warm-up match against an RAF Development XI at Fakenham, with the hosts looking to avenge their defeat in the same match last year.

Norfolk fielded three players – Tom Nudd, Joe Oakey and Oli Howes – who all represent Brooke and were making their county age group debuts.

The RAF batted first and were soon in trouble losing two wickets without a run on the board. They recovered, however, with captain Sam Shelford holding the innings together in making 74. The innings closed after 50 overs with the total 216 for nine. All of the bowlers performed well on a good batting wicket, Ben Flanagan finishing with three for 49 from 10 overs and Dale Reynolds two for 40. Other wicket-takers were Brett Stolworthy, Kieron Bunting and Ryan Findlay. The ground fielding was excellent with Oakey having a fine match behind the stumps.

The Norfolk reply was disappointing with several players getting out to indifferent shots when looking well set. Highlight of the innings was a mature and well paced innings by Howes who made 81 before being run out with victory in sight.

He received good support from Bunting who made a quickfire 26. With five needed for victory off the last over, Norfolk finished just two runs short with last man Tom Nudd run out, backing up too far as the ball deflected off the bowler.

By virtue of their performances in this match Bunting, Howes, Flanagan and Oakey were all called up into the Norfolk Development XI and played in Wednesday's victory over Lincolnshire.