Norfolk v Buckinghamshire final day
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Norfolk's hopes of giving their fans another thrilling final day Festival run chase were denied by the weather yesterday as their Horsford tussle with Eastern Division champions Buckinghamshire was cut-short before lunch.
In the 19.4 overs which they managed to bowl they took three more wickets to reduce Bucks to 194-4 from their overnight 141-1.
The situation was uncannily like that at the same time in the Northumberland game, when their visitors, seemingly in command at 134-1 in their second innings, lost early wickets on the resumption and were bowled out for 302 to set up a run-chase of 260 in 44 overs.
Sadly for a Manor Park crowd desperately hoping that the gloomy last day weather forecasts would prove false – as also, was the case last week – there was no opportunity to find out if the similarities would remain all the way to the finish line.
For a while after the 10.30am start – imposed to make up for time lost to rain on Monday – there seemed that we would at least get another century to applaud.
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There were three tons, as well as six other half centuries, in the Northumberland game. And there was no reason to believe that precocious Bucks opener Shaan Khaan would not follow his skipper, David Cranfield-Thompson, and Norfolk's James Spelman into three figures yesterday.
The 19-year-old had made a classy 74 in the first innings and, having raced to 81 not out overnight, he was six runs from his maiden Minor Counties Championship century when he edged Keiran Bunting to wicket-keeper Jason Blake.
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He and the prolific-scoring former Northamptonshire star Rob White had put on 92 for the second wicket.
Bucks had increased their overnight total by 25 runs. And they added only 11 more in losing their next two wickets with White caught at slip by Trevor Ward off Ben France for 44 on 174 and Cranfield-Thompson caught behind off Bunting for a duck.
When the rain came Bucks led by 168. But Norfolk had taken their last six first innings wickets for 75 runs – so it was not unrealistic to hope they would get the chance to repeat their quick-scoring heroics of last week.
With two championship games to go the divisional title is now a very long shot, Norfolk having lost their opening two matches of the campaign, against Cambridgeshire and Cumberland, before winning the third.
Cambridgeshire top the table having won three times while Herts and Suffolk have both won twice.
All three are in action while Norfolk play Lincolnshire this coming Sunday to Tuesday – all at home against Beds, Staffs and Northumberland respectively.
Norfolk, however, are a developing side with potentially explosive players in form, and will be looking to end the Festival on a high before heading for Old Hill Cricket Club to face Staffordshire in their final match of the season on August 18-20.
Norfolk v Buckinghamshire, 3rd day
Overnight: Bucks 312 (Shaan Khan 74, RA White 59, D Cranfield-Thompson 108, C Brown 5-74) & 141-1 (Shaan Khan 81no); Norfolk 338-6 dec (JM Spelman 149, PA Lambert 54, LW Caswell 51)
Buckinghamshire 2nd innings cont
Shaan Khan c Blake b Bunting 94
RA White c Ward b France 44
DRJ Cranfield-Thompson c Blake b Bunting 0
MJ Payne not out 22
P Patel not out 2
Extras nb1 lb2 w2 5
Total (4 wkts) 194
Fall: 1-74 2-166 3-174 4-177
Bowling: Eccles 3-0-22-0, Bunting 13.4-3-52-2, France 19-3-49-2, Brown 11-0-37-0, Findlay 5-0-11-0, Taylor 4-0-16-0, Lambert 1-0-5-0.
Points: Norfolk 12 Buckinghamshire 9
Next match: Norfolk v Lincolnshire (August 4-6)