Norfolk skipper George Walker opts for batting power
Norfolk skipper George Walker is confident he has enough bowling options at his disposal despite packing his side with batting power for tomorrow's MCCA Knockout Trophy opener against Cambridgeshire.
Walker's men kick off their Group Four campaign at Manor Park against a Cambs side who have already lost their opening match, a crushing 170-run defeat against Lincolnshire on Monday.
They have opted for a seven-man batting line-up, plus batsman/wicketkeeper Stephen Gray and Walker said: 'We're packed full of batting and we're going in with one less seamer, but James Spelman has been bowling seamers and Chris Borrett will be doing some bowling. Harry Bush can bowl as well, along with Carl Rogers and Sam Arthurton so we have plenty of choices.
'I think we've picked a reasonably strong team, but we will have to be wary of a backlash from Cambridgeshire, because they did pretty badly in their first game and all of their group matches are must-win games now. They are one step ahead of us as this is our first competitive game of the season, but there is one easy way to get through to the next stage and that is to win every game.'
Norfolk failed to qualify for the quarter-finals last season after losing their final group game against Cambridgeshire by two runs. Walker said: 'It was a close game, but I don't think we played as well as we could have done. We were a bit loose with the ball and in the field and in the batting we had a couple of partnerships which didn't kick on, so we have lots to improve on. But to get that close playing like we did, I'd like to think if we are switched on we can win this time.'
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Walker captained some of the Minor Counties Championship games last year in the absence of the injured Carl Rogers, but having taken over at the helm in the winter this will be his first competitive one-day match in charge. He added: 'It'll be a first for me, but I'm looking forward to it - there's a bit more thinking on your feet in the one-day game.'
Peter Lambert will make his one-day debut for Norfolk, having caught the eye with some impressive hitting in Swardeston's Cockspur Club Twenty20 triumph at the Rose Bowl in September. He will form an 'old and new' opening partnership with Rogers, who has 70 Trophy matches under his belt, having made his debut in 1991. Walker added: 'Carl will always be there or thereabouts in terms of getting runs and we have a very strong batting line-up. I'd like to think we'll be able to set a decent target or chase down a total.'
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Norfolk: CJ Rogers (Great Witchingham), PA Lambert (Swardeston), JM Spelman (Great Witchingham), TR Ward (Leicester Ivanhoe), CR Borrett (Norwich), SS Arthurton (Great Witchingham), H Bush (Norwich), SK Gray (Fakenham), GW Walker (capt, Swardeston), C Brown (Horsford), P Bradshaw (Vauxhall Mallards).