Opening defeat leaves it all to do for the holders

Norfolk player/coach Chris Brown says the holders' MCCA Knockout Trophy defence rests on beating old rivals Suffolk this weekend after yesterday's four wicket Manor Park defeat to Lincolnshire.

Norfolk player/coach Chris Brown says the holders' MCCA Knockout Trophy defence rests on beating old rivals Suffolk this weekend after yesterday's four wicket Manor Park defeat to Lincolnshire.

Brown insists another group four defeat would end any hopes of retaining their one day crown after the visitors triumphed in a rain-affected 40 over contest.

Norfolk were indebted to middle order resistance from Stephen Gray (42) and youngster Sam Arthurton (57) in their 178-5 total but the visitors chased down a Duckworth Lewis adjusted target with two overs left.

Openers Dan Birch (45) and Andrew Crook (30) put on 73 for the first wicket before a late flurry of middle order wickets briefly halted their victory charge.

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Brown is now looking for an immediate response when his side travel to Ipswich on Sunday, to take on Suffolk, who lost by two wickets to Cambridgeshire yesterday.

'We got beaten at Staffs this time last year on a green wicket and came back to win the competition so by no means are we out of it,' said Brown.

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'I think the group we're in is a tough one and on any given day every side can beat each other but if we don't win the next one that will be our one day season over. Mathematically, it's not, but I would say it is.

'We had beaten Lincs twice in one day cricket over the past two years, both at the quarter-finals and we dominated them, but here it really came down to what they did at the top of the innings.

'The wicket was quite tricky first up and they made the most of it.

'They got it in the right areas and fair play to them. We could've easily lay down but we showed some spirit and hopefully we can improve for next week.'

Brown felt Norfolk were at least 20 runs short of setting a competitive total.

'I think with the bat, perhaps we were 20 or 30 light,' he said.

'Having said that, they did bowl very well and we lost wickets at the wrong time so it was hard to gain any momentum.

'In the end maybe 200 might have been more ideal. When you don't get the runs you feel you need, you have to make early inroads in those first eight or ten overs and Dan Birch played very well.

'You're always chasing the game then while they are always up with the rate. 'We did take three wickets quite quickly and we still thought there might be a chance. I've just said to the boys you have to believe from any position you can win because if you don't then you are always up against it.'

But Brown insists Norfolk can take plenty of positives from their opening one day contest.

'Sam Arthurton I thought played very well. He has a lot of potential if he keeps his feet on the floor and keeps working hard at his game,' said Brown.

'The spinners bowled nicely, myself, George (Walker) and Carl (Rogers) and Harry Bush did well in patches.'

t MCCA Knockout Trophy Group 4

Manor Park: Lincolnshire (2pts) bt Norfolk (0pts) by four wickets (D/L method)

t Norfolk

CJ Rogers b Airey 14

H Bush c Burfolk b Airey 7

TR Ward b Houston 28

SK Gray c Burford b Osmond 42

SS Arthurton c Burford b Airey 57

CR Borrett not out 21

JM Spelman not out 3

Extras 6

Total: (5 wkts, 40 overs) 178

Fall: 1-18; 2-28; 3-66; 4-126; 5-168.

Bowling: Onyon 8-1-33-0, Airey 8-1-30-3, Houston 8-2-27-1, Crook 8-0-33-0, Osmond 5-0-34-1, Dobson 3-0-20-0

t Lincolnshire

JD Birch c Eccles b Walker 45

AR Crook c Arthurton b Brown 30

MC Dobson c&b Brown 24

MP Dowman c Walker b Rogers 25

V Atri c Gray b Rogers 23

OE Burford c Gray B Bush 1

KS Bansal not out 9

BW Huston not out 10

Extras 16

Total: (6 wkts, 38.1 overs) 183

Fall: 1-73, 2-100, 3-109, 4-156, 5-158, 6-166

Bowling: Eccles 4-0-30-0, Bradshaw 6-0-38-0, Walker 8-0-37-1, Brown 8-1-17-2, Spelman 2-0-18-0, Rogers 7-0-30-2, Bush 3.1-1-10-1.

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