Sam Arthurton’s unbeaten 166 helped Norfolk to completely dominate day two of their Unicorns Minor Counties Championship match against Bedfordshire at Manor Park.

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The second match of the Norfolk Festival of Cricket started with both teams searching for their first three-day victory of the season – and Norfolk may have revived their chance to do just that.

The home side started day two on 81-1 after five quick wickets bowled Beds out for 298, having previously stood at 285-6.

That momentum seemed to still be fresh in the Norfolk players’ minds yesterday morning and they set about chasing down their target.

Great Witchingham batsman Sam Arthurton – who missed the 10-wicket home defeat to Cumberland last week – in particular seemed to be in a good mood.

He began the day on 27 alongside opener James Spelman, who was on 42.

Spelman fell early, for 47, to leave Norfolk at 89-2 but Arthurton went on to bat for the rest of his side’s innings and was still unbeaten on 166 when stand-in skipper Garry Park decided to declare at 351-9.

Park, still covering for injured captain Chris Brown, built a partnership of 80 with Arthurton before he fell for 26.

Youngster Lewis Denmark also supported Arthurton ably, building a partnership of 69 before he was dismissed for 31.

Andy Reynoldson then took four wickets to slow Norfolk’s progress and eventually saw the home side declare with a lead of 53 runs at 351-9.

Arthurton’s knock of 166 was the 22-year-old’s highest Minor Counties Championship score.

Beds are due to start their second innings at 10.30am today, with a minimum of 110 overs in the day, weather permitting.

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