Norfolk in charge after impressive first day against Northumberland

Jason Reynolds top scored for Norfolk with 76 at Jesmond yesterday. Picture: Tim Ferley

Jason Reynolds top scored for Norfolk with 76 at Jesmond yesterday. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Norfolk enjoyed an opening day to remember in their final Minor Counties Championship match of the season against Northumberland.

Having failed to register a victory in their three games at Manor Park, Chris Brown's side are well placed to rectify that at Jesmond after an impressive start to the fixture.

Norfolk batted solidly to get past the 300 mark after being put into bat, and then turned on the style with the ball to reduce their hosts to 34-6 at the close, with Ben France taking four wickets and Rob Taylor two.

The visitors had also started the day well, with openers Sam Arthurton and Jason Reynolds putting on 91 for the first wicket before Arthurton was bowled by Oliver McGhee for 37.

Reynolds went on to top score with 76, with his entertaining innings featuring 11 fours and two sixes, while Rob Taylor also contributed an important knock of 48 to keep Norfolk on the front foot.

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A couple of quick wickets saw them slip to 197-6 but there was a sting in the tail as Ashley Watson made an important 53 from No 7 and Brown (17) and Ben Coote (20 not out) also chipped in with useful runs. It all added up to a solid 303 all out - and that quickly looked a daunting total as France and Taylor got to work.

Bowling in tandem, with no-one else getting a look in, they sent down 21 overs between them that had the Northumberland batsmen in all sorts of trouble - with wickets falling at regular intervals while the scoring rate was kept well below the two an over mark.

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France set the ball rolling by having Tom Hewison caught behind by John Ewart - and a further five batsmen went for single figures as the visitors took a vice-like grip on the match.

France ended the day with the hugely impressive figures of 11-3-18-4 while Taylor was almost as deadly at the other end. He sent down 10 overs and took 2-13, chipping in with two quick wickets after France had rolled over Northumberland's top three.

France had Sameet Brar caught by Taylor to take the day's final wicket - and Norfolk will now be aiming to wrap up the first innings quickly this morning as they attempt to round off what has been a largely frustrating three-day campaign on a positive note.

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