Tough first day for Norfolk

Norfolk were dismissed for just 180 on a rain-affected first day of their Minor Counties Championship encounter with Cumberland at Barrow-in-Furness.

The start of the match was delayed by rain, with play not getting under way until 1.20pm, and the visitors were up against it from the moment they lost the toss and were asked to bat first in bowler friendly conditions.

When Norfolk slumped to 119 for eight it seemed as though Cumberland would have a chance to catch them up on day one, but fortunately the tail wagged, with Chris Brown and Michael Eccles building on the earlier good work of James Spelman to add a veneer of respectablity to the total.

Norfolk had made a reasonable start, with Spelman taking the score to 40 for two in the company of Nathan Perry-Warnes and Ben France. But Trevor Ward, Ali Shearer and debutant Matt Plater all then fell cheaply as Brown's men slumped to 59 for five.

Ryan Findlay - another debutant - helped stopped the rot in partnership with the watchful Spelman but with the score on 111 both men lost their wickets, Findlay going for 22 and Spelman for a battling 47 which spanned 153 balls.


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Wicketkeeper Sam Groves soon came and went but then Brown and Eccles knuckled down, adding a priceless 61 for the ninth wicket. Brown made 43 in 116 deliveries while Eccles' contribution was 25 in 57, and although last man Kieran Bunting went first ball it had been a decent recovery.

Slow left armer Toby Bulcock bowled virtually unchanged for Cumberland, taking three for 55, while Richard Gleeson weighed in with four for 75. Cumberland were nine without loss at the close.

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