Six wickets from James Spelman keep hopes of win alive for Norfolk

James Spelman was on form with the ball on day two of Norfolk's match at Cumberland. Picture: TIM FE

James Spelman was on form with the ball on day two of Norfolk's match at Cumberland. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Hopes of finishing the season with a win are still alive and kicking for Norfolk in Cumbria.

The visitors begin the final day of their Unicorns Minor Counties Championship campaign with a lead of 60 runs at Sedbergh School today.

That is thanks largely to six wickets from the unusual source of opening batsman James Spelman, finishing with figures of six for 98 in 28 overs.

The 32-year-old Great Witchingham stalwart, who has been playing for Norfolk since 2002, made the key breakthrough after Cumberland had resumed on 61 for two.

Michael Slack and Sam Dutton had extended their third wicket partnership to 134 and moved the hosts along to 141 for two, before Spelman removed them both within six overs, with Dutton going for 104.

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Neil Longhurst and Mattie McKiernan went soon after as Spelman's excellent spell continued, reducing Cumberland to 173 for six.

Gary Knight and Glen Weightman then steadied the ship with a partnership of 113, before Spelman again made the breakthrough at 286 for seven.

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Ben Coote's run-out and Spelman's sixth wicket soon followed before Ashley Watson struck to dismiss Cumberland for 321, with a lead of 87.

Norfolk finished the day with a lead of 60 though, after Jordan Taylor (66 not out) opened with Sam Arthurton (54) and the pair built a partnership of 108.

Jimmy Hale was unbeaten on 27 overnight, leaving Chris Brown's team with a chance of victory at 147 for one.

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