Unicorns Knockout Trophy campaign starts in Cambridgeshire for Norfolk
- Credit: Tim Ferley
Norfolk head to March for the first match of their Minor Counties season against Cambridgeshire with an added determination to impress in one-day cricket.
Three successive quarter-final exits in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy have fired ambitions of further success in the competition, starting against Cambs on Sunday.
Norfolk won by 168 runs at Cambs in the group stage of the Trophy last season, with Garry Park scoring an unbeaten 70 before the hosts were bowled out for 77 in 26 overs, with Ashley Watson taking four for 18 and skipper Chris Brown three for 15.
'It's the first game of the county season but the club season starts on Saturday so everyone is pretty much in the same boat,' Brown said.
'Our friendly against Essex seconds was washed out due to the weather but we did play very well against Cambs in the game last year.
'It's 2016 now though and we're expecting a tough game.'
Norfolk have won the competition five times – but not since 2009.
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'It's a good achievement to get out of the group stages three years in a row and to reach a quarter-final,' Brown continued. 'But that's three years running that we have come unstuck at that stage so we're looking to do better than that this time.'
The team will include two one-day debutants, in batsman Matt Plater and bowler Adam Todd, who topped Norfolk's three-day averages in 2015.
'Matt Plater has played for the Northants academy and some second team cricket for them, and Adam Todd had an excellent Championship campaign but is yet to play one-day cricket for us,' Brown added.
'James Spelman has ruled himself out of one-day cricket for the 2016 season which now gives Matt Plater a chance in one-day cricket for Norfolk. However we fully expect to see James in Norfolk colours once again when our Championship season commences in May.'
Norfolk (v Cambs): Matt Plater, Ben France, Sam Arthurton, Garry Park, Jordan Taylor, Lewis Denmark, Ashley Watson, Chris Brown (C), Brett Stolworthy, Sam Groves (WK), Adam Todd.