Norfolk skipper Brown concedes second innings collapse has given Cambridgeshire huge final-day boost

Norfolk's opening batsmen James Spelman (left) and Nathan Perry-Warnes. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Norfolk's opening batsmen James Spelman (left) and Nathan Perry-Warnes. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Captain Chris Brown admits Norfolk's collapse has given Cambridgeshire control ahead of the final day of their Minor Counties Championship clash.

Norfolk began their second innings with a 20-run lead, after Cambs posted 308-6 off their allotted 90 overs, and looked to be in a commanding position at 59-0, with openers Nathan Perry-Warnes and James Spelman starting well for the second day running.

But the visitors fell apart once the pair had been dismissed losing five wickets for just 40 runs after tea to end play on 105-7.

Brown's boys go into the last of the three-day match 125 runs ahead and he concedes they need a good start after ending yesterday so badly.

'I thought we bowled really well and stuck to the task really well,' said Brown, who took two wickets himself.

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'They got away and probably got a few more than we'd have liked at the end but a lead of 20 meant I was really pleased with the bowling group. I thought we did a decent job.

'Perry-Warnes and Spelman got stuck in again (at the start of our second innings) and played nicely. But from where we were, 50-odd for one, to 103-7 isn't good enough really.

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'It was some poor shot selection if anything. It's not turning a great deal and I just think their spinners came on with men around the bat and it perhaps got into our heads a little bit.

'As it turned out we made the wrong choices. But we've just got to be positive. There's still Luke Caswell to come and Sam Groves, as well as the two lads (Michael Eccles and Kieran Bunting) who are in and they need to try and get some kind of partnership going.'

Cambs began day two on 57-0 after Ben Howgego and David Clarke had started their side's reply brightly at the end of day one.

The pair almost reached half centuries while Darren Bicknell and Alan Burton did. Yet despite their excellent work, a score of 308-6 still left them short of Norfolk's mammoth day one total - achieved largely thanks to a stunning unbeaten 148 from Harry Bush.

While Perry-Warnes and Spelman continued their steady day-one form, Bush went cheaply for seven. And from then on the wickets tumbled as Cambs' skipper Paul McMahon took his wicket haul to eight for the match to leave his troops in buoyant mood.

Paceman James Williams finally put two long days behind him by bowing Brown clean out in the final over to spark wild scenes. But Norfolk's captain wasn't too downbeat as he prepares to rally his troops for one final push against their fierce rivals.

'We're 125 ahead, we absolutely need to push that lead to 200 runs,' said Brown.

'I'd think we'd need to do that as it's still a very good surface. The guys in the morning have got to bat and take some time out of the game. Anything above 200 would be a massive bonus. I think Cambs probably edged the day by taking seven wickets in the evening. But Tuesday is another day. And we'll come back strong.'

The action at Wisbech Town's Harecroft Road ground re-starts at 11am.

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