Visitors have upper hand on opening day of Festival

Norfolk ended day one just 62 runs ahead of opponents Cumberland after a frustrating day for the hosts and their followers at Manor Park.

The home side were forced into an overnight change to their line-up after the spearhead of their bowling attack, Michael Eccles, broke a finger taking a catch for his club, Swardeston, on Saturday.

He was replaced by Norwich left-arm seamer Aaron Watson.

On a blustery but sunny morning, Cumberland won the toss and opted to field first.

Norfolk got off to a bad start when Carl Rogers was bowled by Richard Gleeson in the second over of the day.


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James Spelman and Harry Bush made steady progress for the next few overs, but it wasn't long before both openers were back in the pavilion.

Gleeson grabbed his second wicket of the morning, trapping Spelman lbw for seven to leave Norfolk 35-2.

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Despite the early wickets, Bush was showing good intent as he clipped a frustrated Marcus Sharp through mid-wicket for a welcome boundary.

The Norwich man was working nicely in tandem with Trevor Ward and even though the impressive Gleeson was still beating the bat regularly, there were the makings of a productive partnership.

Two wickets in quick succession left Norfolk struggling though as Chris Williams claimed the wicket of Ward before Bush was run-out for 34.

The hosts were now 59-4 and despite Stephen Gray adopting a positive approach, he and Sam Arthurton were soon back in the hutch.

With the score 80-6, Chris Brown was influential in a much needed partnership with Luke Caswell. The duo managed to weather the storm and get Norfolk to 101-6 at lunch.

The recovery continued into the afternoon.

Caswell was playing with increasing confidence and Brown used his experience to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

The pair had put on 80 when Brown fell for a hard fought 31.

Caswell reached a deserved half-century soon after before falling for 56 and this was sandwiched in between the final two wickets.

The home side were all out for 191 with Gleeson (5-69) the pick of the bowlers.

In response Cumberland got off to a relatively slow start and were the subject of some strangled appeals, but they slowly worked away at the hosts' total.

At 49-0 skipper George Walker brought himself on to grab the wicket of James Lowe, but it did little to halt Cumberland's progress.

Jonathan Miles – who was the more aggressive of the Cumberland batsmen – turned on some style in the evening session with regular boundaries.

Brown was introduced to make something happen in the 26th over and he had Liam Livingstone caught by Michael Warnes for 15.

There were then a few near misses for Norfolk in the final stages – with Gary Pratt surviving a massive lbw shout – but the Cumberland skipper made it to the close alongside Miles, who finished unbeaten on 65.

• SCOREBOARD

• Norfolk 1st innings

JM Spelman lbw b Gleeson 7

CJ Rogers b Gleeson 4

H Bush run out (Pratt) 34

TR Ward lbw b Williams 14

SS Arthurton c Smith b Williams 5

SK Gray c & b Williams 9

LW Caswell lbw b Gleeson 56

C Brown lbw b Lowe 31

GW Walker c Ullah b Gleeson 2

MW Warnes not out 8

AA Watson b Gleeson 0

Extras (b2 lb8 w11) 21

Total (71 overs) 191

Fall: 1-6 2-35 3-58 4-59 5-79 6-80 7-160 8-163 9-191

Bowling: Sharp 16-6-32-0, Gleeson 26-7-69-5, Williams 17-5-51-3, Hodgson 1-0-5-0, Smith 3-0-12-0, Lowe 8-2-12-1.

• Cumberland 1st innings

JA Lowe c Bush b Walker 17

JWR Miles not out 65

L Livingstone c Warnes b Brown 15

CG Pratt not out 21

Extras (b6 lb5) 11

Total (2 wkts, 39 overs) 129

Fall: 1-54 2-86

Bowling: Warnes 8-4-22-0, Watson 6-3-19-0, Spelman 6-2-18-0, Walker 9-1-32-1, Brown 7-1-18-1, Caswell 3-0-9-0.

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