Norfolk need victory to keep MCCA Knockout Trophy hopes alive
Norfolk player/coach Chris Brown has urged his players to forget the permutations needed to qualify for the MCCA Knockout Trophy quarter-finals and focus solely on beating Suffolk tomorrow.
After losing their opening two Group Four matches, against Cambridgeshire and Berkshire, Norfolk must beat Suffolk at Manor Park to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last eight. They would also need to win their final game, at Lincolnshire, and hope other results go their way, but Brown insists it is a case of first things first: 'All we can do is win our games and until we win them there's no point looking at other things,' he said.
'We have identified areas where we came up short in the first two games and it is down to every single player to get their performances right and ensure Norfolk win matches.'
Brown rejected the suggestion that the policy of opting for batting strength over frontline bowlers had backfired and added: 'The reasons we lost are quite straightforward. Our ground fielding cost us dearly against Cambridgeshire, there were too many two's which they turned into three's and singles which they turned into two's – they ran us ragged.
'Against Berkshire we batted abjectly and if it hadn't been for Stephen Gray late on we would have been all out for 120, but we bowled and fielded okay.
'It's a case of putting the three disciplines together and if we can do that I'm sure we'll get the right results.'
Michael Warnes will make his full county debut tomorrow, in place of the unavailable Chris Borrett. Brown has seen Warnes at close quarters this season with Horsford and believes the former Cromer all-rounder will cope with the step up: 'He's bowled well this year,' said Brown. 'He's got a little bit of pace, a good action and he bowls decent channels. He's a young lad who will improve and he deserves his chance.'
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Suffolk beat Lincolnshire in their last game after losing a high-scoring match against runaway leaders Berkshire in their opening Group Four clash.
If Norfolk win their final two games and Berkshire maintain their 100pc record by beating Cambridgeshire tomorrow, second place in Group Four is likely to be decided by run rate.