Norfolk v Lincolnshire, day two

Norfolk v Lincolnshire at Horsford. Peter Lambert scoring freely before tea.Photo: Bill Smith

Norfolk v Lincolnshire at Horsford. Peter Lambert scoring freely before tea.Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Yet another Festival century, an even more memorable non-century, an emotional farewell and some sensational catches provided the highlights as Norfolk got victory in their nostrils against Lincolnshire at Manor Park yesterday.

The century came from Sam Arthurton, who finished on 104 not out as Norfolk declared their second innings on 295-4 to set Lincs an improbable victory target of 435 to win on day three.

But the real pyrotechnics came from Swardeston's Peter Lambert, whose 80 off 43 balls must rank among the most swash-buckling Minor Counties innings seen on the ground

In the 14.4 overs which were possible before ever-darkening storm clouds ended hopes of taking an extra half hour for earlier lost time, Norfolk then claimed the wicket of Akhil Patel as the visitors closed on 39-1, still 396 runs short of their goal.

Earlier in the day Norfolk established a 139-run first innings lead by taking only 15.1 overs to mop up the last five Lincs wickets for the addition of only 36 runs to the overnight total of 124-5.

Michael Eccles continued where he'd left off the night before to quickly take the day's first two wickets – both Ollie Burford and Lewis Bramley each adding two more runs – to finish with a 4-37 haul.

Skipper Chris Brown then swept up the last three wickets with the help of two wonderful pieces of fielding – Lambert taking a tumbling acrobatic catch to dismiss Harry Clewett and Arthurton making his third sizzling snare of the innings to remove Matt Carter.

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Both fielding stars would go on to dominate the afternoon as Norfolk pressed home their advantage.

After losing James Spelman early on, caught at second slip by Jonathan Cheer for 11, Arthurton and Ben France (33 off 48 balls) put on 62 for the second wicket.

There then followed the Manor Park batting farewell for Trevor Ward, with the whole of the ground willing him to go nine runs better than Sunday's 91 and feeling his pain as he mistimed a hook shot which sailed high, but not far enough, behind him to be caught near the boundary by wicket-keeper Burford for 17.

The 45-year-old former Kent and Leicestershire star received a rousing ovation as he made the long walk back to the Horsford pavilion for the last time as a Norfolk batsman.

But any sense of anti-climax was soon blown away by a fourth-wicket partnership of 101 in 42 minutes between two of the most exiciting members of Norfolk's new generation.

Not that the thrills were exactly equally shared out. When they came together Arthurton was already on 52. When Lambert was dismissed to another sensational flying catch, this time from Cheer, who injured himself diving full length to hold a shot which was otherwise destined to clear the ropes, Arthurton had added another ten!

While Lambert's 80 came off 47 balls and included 13 fours and two sixes, Arthurton's 104 – his third Championship century – took 185 balls and 219 minutes with nine fours.

It was, nevertheless, a polished innings of pure class, showing why he is earmarked for a big future by Essex. He duly reached his milestone during an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 74 with Luke Caswell (26no) shortly before Brown made his declaration.

France then gave Norfolk extra cause for confidence when, after Lincs had negotiated nine overs without mishap, he came on as the first change and had Patel caught behind by Jason Blake with his first ball.

Norfolk v Lincolnshire, 2nd day

Manor Park: Norfolk won the toss

Overnight: Norfolk 299 (TR Ward 91, PA Lambert 58); Lincolnshire 124-5 (MS Lineker 50)

Lincolnshire 1st innings continued

OE Burford c Brown b Eccles 21

LG Bramley c Caswell b Eccles 2

BW Houston lbw b Brown 12

HL Clewett c Lambert b Brown 6

M Carter c Arthurton b Brown 10

A Shepherd not out 1

Extras 2b 4lb 1w 2nb 9

Total (51.1 overs) 160

Fall: 1-2 2-34 3-57 4-75 5-123 6-129 7-130 8-137 9-154

Bowling: Eccles 17-2-37-4, Bunting 8-1-27-1, France 7-1-28-1, Findlay 7-0-24-1, Brown 12.1-1-38-3

Norfolk 2nds innings

JS Spelman c Cheer b Shepherd 11

SS Arthurton not out 104

BJ France lbw b Carter 33

TR Ward c Burford b Houston 17

PA Lambert c Cheer b Bramley 80

LW Caswell not out 26

Extras 7b 5lb 12nb 24

Total (4 wkts dec, 64 overs) 295

Fall: 1-18 2-80 3-119 4-220

Bowling: Shepherd 15-0-38-1, Bramley 11-1-44-1, Clewett 7-0-48-0m Lineker 4-1-18-0, Carter 16-2-65-1, Houston 11-1-40-1.

Lincolnshire 2nds innings

AK Patel c Blake b France 15

SC Evison not out 14

MS Lineker not out 4

Extras 4b 2nb 6

Total (1 wkt, 14.4 overs) 39

Fall: 1-23

Bowling: Eccles 6-3-12-0, Bunting 4-2-11-0, France 2-2-0-1, Findlay 1.4-0-8-0, Brown 1-0-4-0.

Today: 10.30am to 5.30pm plus 17 overs