Victory is in Norfolk's grasp after a fantastic second day against Buckinghamshire
PUBLISHED: 08:29 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 08:29 19 July 2016
Norfolk go into the final day of their clash with Buckinghamshire having given themselves every chance of victory.
The hosts put themselves in a strong position on Sunday and then built on their excellent start with Garry Park taking centre stage at Manor Park yesterday.
He claimed a memorable five-wicket haul to help create a first innings lead of 115 runs.
And that advantage had grown to 259 by the time stumps were drawn with Chris Brown’s side closing in on their first win of the Minor Counties Championship Eastern Division campaign. With three wickets remaining, Norfolk will be looking to score some quick-fire runs when play resumes at 11am to give themselves every chance of then bowling the visitors out and breaking their three-day duck in 2016.
Returning to the crease with their side at 56-0, opening pair Shaan Khan and Alex Woodland took their partnership beyond the 100 mark before Park claimed his first victim.
He took the wicket of Khan and then removed Woodland and that breakthrough set about a flurry of wickets falling.
Ben France chipped in with two quick dismissals as Bucks began to wobble.
Dan Hampton’s resolute 17 at least held up one end as four of his colleagues had to come to terms with departing for lowly single-figure scores.
But just as Norfolk’s bowlers – and the summer sun – turned up the heat, George Russell and Cameron Parsons ensured their team did not wilt.
That was until they were both removed by Brown before Ashley Watson had the final say to put Norfolk in command.
Park went into lunch, as Bucks rocked on 168-7, with figures of 5-31. Upon the conclusion of he and his team-mates’ efforts, that fifer had only allowed another 14 runs to be scored.
Watson’s much shorter 7.4-over stint was the most economic going for just 1.70.
Norfolk started their second innings with a minimum of 53 overs left in the day.
But Sunday’s hero James Spelman couldn’t match his first-innings exploits and departed for four – 127 runs less than he had managed at the start of his county’s annual festival of cricket.
Fellow opener Sam Arthurton stuck around for a while longer but when he went for 30 it was really left to Lewis Denmark and Watson to move things along.
The pair added 72 for the sixth wicket before Watson went for 33.
Denmark was removed in the final over of proceedings for a hard-fought 45 but even that dismissal failed to shake the feeling that another day had belonged to Norfolk.