One Warnes brother gets into the fray at Jesmond

Norfolk did better than most of their Minor Counties rivals yesterday as they got in two sessions of their opening Championship match against Northumberland at Jesmond.

Only one of the other eight games which were due to get under way yesterday saw any play, with Suffolk's match against Bedfordshire at Luton among the six wash-outs.

But the rain held off long enough on Tyneside to provide the chance for one half of Norfolk's new family double act to make his mark.

Horsford's Matthew and Michael Warnes are both making their Norfolk debuts in this match, becoming in the process the first brothers to play together in a championship match for the county since David and Peter Thomas lined up against Cambridgeshire at Lakenham in 1986.

Opening bowler Michael has yet to step on to the field after Northumberland won the toss and decided that it was not likely to be a day for batsmen.

But Matthew did get a chance to show what he can do, and took it with both hands, steering Norfolk through to 202 for six with an unbeaten 36 by the time rain arrived just after 4pm to bring about a premature finish to the day's entertainment. The umpires abandoned play for the day at 5.45pm.

Matthew, 25, was relieved to get on the field, having been denied a championship debut four years ago when he was selected for the fixture against Cambridgeshire at Lakenham, only for the entire match to be washed out without a ball being bowled.

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Michael, 21, featured in two of Norfolk's MCCA Trophy matches after following his brother into the East Anglian Premier League from Cromer this season.

Norfolk had made a solid start, with James Spelman comfortably the most proactive partner in an opening stand of 67 with Carl Rogers.

He was just one short of his half century when he was run out. And when Peter Lambert and Trevor Ward both fell cheaply on 81 the steady head of Rogers was needed to pull things round.

Rogers helped Stephen Gray put on 53 for the fourth wicket before falling for an identical personal tally, bringing Michael Warnes to the middle for the first time.

Warnes and Gray (32) took the score to 157 before Gray departed and Ashley Watson contributed 20 before becoming the day's last wicket to fall. Norfolk are desperate to get their season up and running after losing all their MCCA Trophy group games.

Play is due to continue at Jesmond at 11am today.


Norfolk 1st innings

JM Spelman run out 49

CJ Rogers c Scott b Boyd 53

PA Lambert c Scott b Symington 4

TR Ward c Shurben b Symington 0

SK Gray c Rutherford b Waite 32

MR Warnes not out 36

AM Watson lbw b Waite 20

GW Walker not out 0

Extras (b4 lb2 w2) 8

Total (6 wkts, 74.3 overs) 202

Fall: 1-67 2-81 3-81 4-134 5-157 6-199

To bat: C Brown, MW Warnes, MP Eccles

Bowling: Boyd 11-1-47-1, Craigs 9-1-29-0, Rutherford 27-9-63-0, Symington 15-5-20-2, Waite 12.3-5-37-2

Northumberland: MAP Dale, DG Shurben, GM Scott, RP Waite, AD Gragg, MJ Symington, MJ Maxted. CJ Hooker, DJ Rutherford, MA Craigs, SJ Boyd.

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