Spirits are high as Norfolk prepare for annual Festival of Cricket

Norfolk seamer Andy Hanby took nine wickets in his county's opening Minor Counties Championship fixt

Norfolk seamer Andy Hanby took nine wickets in his county's opening Minor Counties Championship fixture of the season against Cambridgeshire in March Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk will be looking to deliver at Manor Park over the next three weeks after setting themselves up perfectly for the annual Festival of Cricket.

Ashley Watson's side are gearing themselves up for three successive home games in the Minor Counties Championship, starting against Lincolnshire on Sunday (11am), after turning in two strong performances away from home.

They will go into the fixture in good spirits after following up a rain-affected draw against Cambridgeshire, which could easily have been a win, with an impressive six wicket victory against Cumberland last time out.

With 33 points under their belts already Norfolk will be firmly in the title picture if they can make home advantage count over the course of the month in games against Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Buckinghamshire - and Watson is confident his in-from team can live up to expectations.

"I think we are in a good place at the moment," said Watson. "The team is playing well, there is an excellent spirit within the group and we can't wait for the Festival to get under way.

"It was a shame we didn't get a chance to go for the win against Cambridgeshire because of the weather but we put that behind us and turned in a really good performance against Cumberland.

"To win comfortably by six wickets after having a deficit of more than 50 from the first innings was a really good effort. We bowled really well to get them out for 135 second time around and then followed that up with the bat to pick up a well deserved win.

Most Read

"It was a good team effort but I have got to give a mention to Stephan Marillier, who played two really good knocks (59 and 62 not out). Everyone knows what a clean striker of the ball he is but he showed there is another side of his game by playing two really disciplined knocks to help us to victory.

"It's great that he is playing in the Minor Counties Championship this season and he's part of a really strong group of 15 or 16 players who make up our squad. There are also some really good young players knocking on the door so things are looking good at the moment."

Norfolk: M Plater, S Arthurton, J Reynolds, T New, S Marillier, W Rogers, A Watson, B Coote, B Stolworthy, A Hanby, S Groves.

Festival fixtures

August 4-6: Lincolnshire

August 11-13: Northumberland

August 18-20: Buckinghamshire

Unicorns Championship Eastern Division 2019

P W L w1d l1d D Pts

Staffordshire 3 2 0 0 0 1 57

Lincolnshire 3 2 1 0 0 0 48

Buckinghamshire 3 1 1 0 0 1 41

Cambridgeshire 3 1 0 0 0 2 41

Suffolk 3 1 1 0 0 1 38

Bedfordshire 3 1 1 0 0 1 33

Norfolk 2 1 0 0 0 1 33

Cumberland 3 0 2 0 0 1 22

Hertfordshire 3 0 2 0 0 1 21

Northumberland 2 0 1 0 0 1 13