TEA: Norfolk on top in their Minor Counties Championship contest against Herts

Paceman Michael Eccles gave Norfolk the upper hand over Hertfordshire with a three-wicket burst on the second afternoon of the Minor Counties Championship match at Manor Park.

At tea, Herts were struggling at 92 for five after 43 overs in their first innings in reply to the hosts' total of 333.

Eccles had opener Shaun Levy caught behind by Stephen Gray for two with the score on 20, then followed up by clean bowling Rhys Wynne for four.

A score of 30 for two became 42 for three when Michael Warnes removed danger man Stephen Snell for 27, caught behind attempting a pull shot.

Eccles took his third wicket in a tireless 15-over spell with an lbw decision to dismiss disgruntled Herts captain Andrew Lewis for 10.


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Off-spinner Chris Brown got into the act 10 minutes before tea when Nesan Jeyeratnam was caught close in by Ali Shearer for 21.

Earlier in the day, Shearer had made 56 from 61 balls, Ashley Watson 56 and skipper George Walker 35 as Norfolk, resuming on 174 for four, were bowled out for 333 in the 88th over.

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With an early start to the penultimate day of the festival after yesterday's storm curtailed proceedings, Luke Caswell was first to depart, trapped lbw by Rhys Wynne in the sixth over of the morning for 29.

But Watson and Shearer made rapid progress in a sixth-wicket stand of 84, left-hander Watson completing the third half-century of the innings before he was bowled by Christian Martin for 56, attempting a reverse sweep.

Shearer completed his own 50 shortly before Norfolk reached 300 in the 83rd over of the innings, skipper Walker keeping the momentum going with some powerful blows.

Shearer was the third batsman to be dismissed with the same score of 56 when he was caught by Stephen Snell off the bowling of Nick Lamb.

Chris Brown went for one to a very smart catch by Nesan Jeyeratnam, giving Usman Arif his fourth wicket, and Michael Warnes was taken at slip by Snell without scoring to give Lamb another wicket.

Norfolk clinched their fourth point when they reached 325 in the 87th over with Walker tucking the ball down to fine leg for a single.

Walker was last man out, caught behind for 35 to give Lamb his third wicket of the morning.

It left Herts with a 15-minute period to negotiate before lunch, in which they reached 15 without loss in four overs.

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