Heartache for Norfolk despite victory over Cambridgeshire
- Credit: Mike Ferley
The season ended in disappointment for Norfolk after they sealed a fine win at Wisbech against Cambridgeshire as agonisingly they finished runners up in the group following a brilliant run chase by Suffolk.
The Norfolk players were huddled round their phones watching the live streaming of the Suffolk v Staffordshire game at Copdock. Suffolk were set an unlikely 370 for victory and at 281 for 9 it looked as though Norfolk were heading to Tring to take on Oxfordshire in the County Championship Final.
Suffolk’s last wicket pair of Adam Mansfield and Ben Claydon, who was injured and batting with a runner, had other ideas as they led Suffolk to victory adding an unbroken 89 to win the game in dramatic fashion with seven balls to spare.
Earlier Norfolk had secured a four-wicket victory when they chased down 133. The day started with Cambridgeshire on 110 for 4 and when Ryan Findlay trapped Kiaran McKenzie, the mainstay of Cambridgeshire first innings, LBW in the first over of the morning Norfolk were in the driving seat.
Maynard and Bowers then frustrated the Norfolk boys when adding 68 for the sixth wicket. It was the introduction of Charlie Rogers that got the breakthrough when he removed Maynard for 33 and when Bowers followed with the score on 193 it looked like Norfolk would wrap up the innings before lunch but some firm resistance from the tail saw the final total rise to 240. Both Rogers and Findlay ended up with four wickets each as Norfolk were set a target of 133.
Norfolk never do things the easy way and after an opening partnership of 39 by Oscar Binny and Ethan Metcalf there were a few alarms. Binny was the first to go when caught by keeper Bowers off Craig for 27 and when Will Rogers went three runs later Norfolk nerves were starting to jangle.
Metcalf was bowled by Craig for 16 with 56 on the board and a further 77 needed. Skipper Tom New steadied the ship adding 28 with Luke Caswell before Caswell was caught by Bowers from the bowling of Craig.
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When New was adjudged LBW to Jones for 27 Norfolk hearts were pounding a bit faster because at 86 for 5 there was still some way to go. Hudson De Lucchi and Findlay calmed the nerves in a partnership of 43 to take Norfolk within 4 runs of victory when Findlay was stumped by Bowers off Mckenzie for 21. Stolworthy hit the winning runs and De Lucchi was unbeaten 19.