Norfolk lose hold on Trophy

Paddy DavittNorfolk skipper Carl Rogers admitted his holders had not been good enough this season after yesterday's two run defeat to Cambridgeshire at Clare College ended the county's MCCA Knockout Trophy defence.Paddy Davitt

Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers admitted his holders had not been good enough this season after yesterday's two run defeat to Cambridgeshire at Clare College ended the county's MCCA Knockout Trophy defence.

Norfolk's hopes of emulating last year's national success rested on beating Cambs in their final pool fixture and relying on results elsewhere this coming weekend.

In the event, Trevor Ward's magnificent unbeaten 123 proved academic after Ward and Chris Brown (14 not out) failed to hit the ten runs required off the final over to eclipse Cambs' 238-7 from their 50 overs.

Norfolk's reply started poorly when Rogers and Chris Borrett both went cheaply to leave the visitors reeling on 10-2.

Ward and James Spelman steadied the innings with a 77 run third wicket partnership but a middle order collapse put Cambs firmly in control.

Norfolk lost three wickets for five runs before Ward and George Walker (26) moved the holders within touching distance of the win they needed to keep alive their one day hopes.

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Walker looked set to partner Ward to victory with some audacious reverse sweeps until spinner Lewis Bruce removed the Swardeston man for his fourth scalp of the contest.

Rogers must now prepare his troops for the Minor Counties championship campaign, which begins next month with a three-day game against Cambs at March.

'It was a tough pool, no doubt about that, and we always seem to get them, but it is disappointing,' said Rogers.

'Lincolnshire was a game that could have gone either way, we had the rain against Suffolk as well but at the end of the day we haven't played well enough - that is how I feel.

'Certainly against Lincs and here again today I just think all round in general - the fielding could have been, better the batting and at times even the bowling.

'We've had a chat in the changing room and you can analyse a lot of things but at the end of the day one big hit for four and we all go home laughing.

'That's how fine the margins are.

'It was disappointing for Trevor that we couldn't really find someone to stick with him.

'It probably only would have taken someone to get a 40 odd and we would have been there.

'That is what it boils down to, in any form of the game, you need partnerships. We had ones broken at points when they were just starting to flourish.'

Rogers pinpointed Ajaz Akhtar's late flourish with the bat as a decisive moment in the game when returning 20 not out with some heavy hitting.

'It's a tough one to take because they could have got maybe 15 or 20 less if we had fielded better at one point,' said Rogers.

'Akhtar hit three or four boundaries but we dropped him before that. It's always the same when you are the side setting the target. There doesn't seem quite so much pressure and the ball is going over the rope.'

Rogers admitted the loss of early wickets in Norfolk's reply put Cambs in the box seat.

'I've been in decent form but that is always what happens, there is going to be one just around the corner,' he said.

'We lost two very quickly at the start which put us on the back foot immediately but Trevor and James came together and ticked the score on nicely.

'Then we had a little period when we lost three wickets but when George came in it looked back on again but to lose by two or three runs is hard because when it comes down to the last ball it can go either way - its right on the edge.'

t SCOREBOARD

MCCA Knockout Trophy Group 4

Clare College: Cambridgeshire beat Norfolk by two runs.

t Cambridgeshire

AG Burton lbw b Brown 32

DA Clarke lbw b Walker 37

MJ Pateman b Brown 27

CJ Cunningham c Ward b Walker 42

JD Williams b Bush 36

PJ McMahon b Bradshaw 32

SA Kellett b Bradshaw 3

A Akhtar not out 20

LR Bruce not out 5

Extras (lb 1 w 3) 4

Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 238

Fall: 1-68; 2-72; 3-139; 4-158; 5-163; 6-203; 7-220.

Bowling: Bradshaw 10-0-58-2, Addison 7-0-30-0, Walker 10-2-27-2, Brown 10-0-37-2, Rogers 6-0-46-0. Bush 7-0-39-1.

t Norfolk

JM Spelman st Summerskill b Bruce 14

CJ Rogers b Williams 1

TR Ward not out 123

CR Borrett lbw b Akhtar 4

SK Gray b Bruce 23

SS Arthurton b Bruce 1

H Bush run out 1

GW Walker c Pateman b Bruce 26

C Brown not out 14

Extras (lb 7 w 18 nb 4) 29

Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 236

Fall: 1-2; 2-10; 3-87; 4-149; 5-153; 6-154; 7-206.

Bowling: Akhtar 10-2-44-1, Williams 10-0-66-1, McMahon 10-3-22-0, Bruce 10-0-42-4, Coleman 2-0-14-0, Burton 5-0-24-0, Kellett 3-0-17-0.