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Avenging bowl-out loss is Norfolk's mission ahead of Unicorns Knockout Trophy quarter-final at Staffordshire

Ashley Watson in action during Norfolk's rain-affected Championship draw at Hertforshire last weekend. Picture: Tim Ferley

Ashley Watson in action during Norfolk's rain-affected Championship draw at Hertforshire last weekend. Picture: Tim Ferley

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Breaking the pattern is the key objective when Norfolk travel to Staffordshire in the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy tomorrow.

This is the fourth season on the spin that Norfolk have finished second in their group in the one-day competition, losing their away quarter-final on the past three occasions.

Last season that came in frustrating fashion as well – also at Staffordshire – when rain saw the match abandoned with the visitors on 134 for four, leading to the hosts winning in a bowl-out.

“Last year was the wrong way to go about it but there had to be a result. Hopefully we’ll get a full game this time,” said skipper Ashley Watson.

“We’ve had a really good start in one-day cricket, we had the one slip up at Lincolnshire but we were strong against Cumberland and we’ll look to carry on our performance from there.”

More: Final day of Norfolk’s match at Hertford is washed out

Two changes have been made to the team which sealed a place in the knockout stages with that 47-run victory at Cumberland.

“Sam Arthurton unfortunately can’t play due to work commitments so Jimmy Hale is back in after a broken toe, and Ben France is fully fit so he comes in for Ryan Findley,” Watson explained.

“Jason Reynolds has scored nearly 400 runs already this season and in his first two games for Norfolk he’s scored a 50 in each innings.

“He batted very well against Cumberland with a 50 off 19 balls and a different kind of batting display at Hertfordshire with 55 in the first innings and 52 in the second, so he gets the opportunity to open the batting.”

More: Norfolk skipper Chris Brown set to take on new role with Gresham’s School

Chris Brown has passed on the one-day captaincy to Watson this season but remains three-day skipper and still travels with the team as coach.

The off-spinner feels the team are fired up to put the pain of that bowl-out defeat behind them at Longton (11am start).

“To lose to Staffs on a bowl-out as we did, in quite a strong position, was devastating really and it took a while to get over,” Brown said. “So we’re raring to go and the weather’s set fare for Sunday so we’re looking forward to it.”

Norfolk: Reynolds, J Taylor, Hale, R Taylor, Denmark, France, Ashley Watson (C), Coote, Stolworthy, Todd, Groves (WK)

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