Rogers in confident mood despite Cambs fightback

Paddy DavittNorfolk skipper Carl Rogers is confident his men can force a positive result after Cambridgeshire fought back to earn a slender lead on day two of their Minor Counties Championship opener at March.Paddy Davitt

Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers is confident his men can force a positive result after Cambridgeshire fought back to earn a slender lead on day two of their Minor Counties Championship opener at March.

Cambs reached stumps 66-0 in their second innings - 12 runs ahead after Norfolk were earlier bowled out for 271 in reply to the hosts' first innings total of 217.

Norfolk had looked in control when Rogers (96) and youngster Sam Arthurton (69) put on a 143-run second wicket stand but Cambs hit back in the afternoon session with Paul McMahon (7-86) the pick of the home attack.

Openers Alan Burton (34no) and Gary Freear (31no) then cancelled out Norfolk's first innings advantage - but Rogers insists it is still all to play for ahead of the final day's action.


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"The first hour will be very important," he said. "If we can get maybe three or four out and put them under pressure they we might be able to force a result, but I think if we had to rely on a declaration it might be quite difficult. I'm disappointed we couldn't get a couple out at the end to put us right in the game, but they are two experienced boys at the top of the order and they batted very well."

Rogers has ruled out any attempt to set up a positive outcome with his Cambs' counterpart.

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"I don't want to play the game like that," he said. "I am not prepared to go out and give the batters runs. It's not right and we won't do that. From our point of view we want to attack them with some seam first thing. It is spinning a little bit as well and hopefully in the morning it might swing for Michael (Eccles) and Milo (Jonathan Miles) and we might be in business - although the forecast is quite poor, but there is nothing you can do about that."

The Cambs' opening pair took the light offered by the umpires in a farcical end to day two just moments after despatching Swardeston quick Eccles for three consecutive fours. The hosts were then invited to return following a 20 minute delay to bat out a further half an hour of spin from George Walker and Chris Brown.

"They were offered the light and they took it," said Rogers. "But after a while the umpires decided it was OK and told them they had to come back out and they could carry on.

"It was a touch surprising as they had just hit three boundaries and then took the light when it was offered. On pitches like this you do need both teams to be willing to have a game - if not it can become a bit of a stalemate."

Rogers had earlier threatened to put Norfolk in command with a belligerent knock that ended four short of a century when young all rounder Peter Richer pushed a quicker one through after lunch.

"It was disappointing to get out on 96 having nurdled it all around and then just letting one get through me," he said. "I don't know how it did, to be honest. I felt at that point we could maybe get a lead of about 100 when myself and Sam were together because it was ticking along quite nicely but it fizzled out.

"The new batters found it hard to get going and the pitch was slow. It's quite a big outfield so to hit boundaries first thing you go in proved difficult."

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