Norfolk in a position of strength going into final day of match with Buckinghamshire

Ben France took an important late wicket for Norfolk at Burnham. Picture: Tim Ferley

Ben France took an important late wicket for Norfolk at Burnham. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Norfolk are well placed to win their Minor Counties Championship clash at Buckinghamshire after an excellent second day.

The visitors bowled their hosts out for 192 yesterday to grab a substantial first innings lead and then got up to 195-9 at a good rate before declaring and setting a victory target of 313.

That gave Chris Brown's side time to get into the Buckinghamshire batting again, and they took two wickets to leave the home side struggling on 19-2 at the close.

On another scorching day at Burnham, Bucks had started on 69-3 in reply to Norfolk's 309 and it wasn't long before they had slipped to 98-6, with Brown claiming wickets from successive deliveries after Ben France had made the initial breakthrough.

The veteran spinner, who had scored 58 in an eighth wicket partnership of 144 with Ashley Watson on day one, trapped Michael Payne lbw before having Pat Castleden caught by France for a duck off the very next ball.

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From that position Bucks did well to get up to nearly 200, with former Norfolk man Garry Park top scoring with a watchful 37 from 113 balls and tailenders Robin Pritchard (27) and Cameron Parsons (19 not out) helping out at the end.

Brown finished with the impressive figures of 20-3-49-5 while France chipped in with 3-29.

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Having done a good job with the ball Norfolk then needed a positive showing with the bat to give them time to bowl the opposition out for a second time.

Wickets fell at regular intervals early on, with only Rob Taylor of the top five getting past 20, but the runs were coming at a good rate and a sixth wicket partnership of 58 between Matt Plater and Watson cemented the visitors' position of strength.

Plater eventually went for an important 61 in 74 balls which featured 11 fours, while Watson made 17 and Brett Stolworthy a bright and breezy 21 not out to set the scene for the declaration.

As it turned out Brown's men had eight overs to make inroads into Buckinghamshire's second innings and they certainly made the most of them, with both openers going cheaply.

France trapped Mansoor Khan leg before to set the ball rolling and Taylor completed an excellent day's work by having Liam Gough caught by Adam Todd.

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