Norfolk fall 145 runs short of target in Unicorns Championship clash at Staffordshire
PUBLISHED: 16:10 06 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:10 06 July 2016
Norfolk were unable to build on a promising start to their second innings as they slumped to a 145-run defeat against Staffordshire in their second Minor Counties Championship match of the season.
Chasing an unlikely 341 for victory at West Bromwich, Chris Brown’s side were looking good for at the very least a draw as they moved past 130 for the loss of only two wickets, with both Sam Arthurton and Ben France going well. But their departure in the space of five overs, coupled with the dismissal of first innings hero Garry Park for just four, turned the course of the match firmly in favour of the hosts and they got the job done with something to spare.
Staffordshire resumed the day on 98-1 in their second innings, a lead of 220, and set about the task of scoring some quick runs to set up an early declaration. To their credit the visiting bowlers, led by skipper Brown, did their utmost to make their life difficult but they still managed to get up to 218-8 at a decent rate to set a daunting target. Brown took all but one of the wickets to fall yesterday, finishing with the impressive figures of 16.4-4-61-6.
Norfolk got off to promising start in reply, with James Spelman and Arthurton putting on 63 before the former went for 18, to be quickly followed by Lewis Denmark for eight. It was then that the scoring rate began to accelerate as France went on the attack. With the all-rounder closing in on a half century after hitting five sixes it was looking good for Norfolk but when he went for 47 the momentum switched firmly back to the hosts. Arthurton was next to go for 61 and then the wickets started to tumble, with only Robbie Bridgstock, who made an unbeaten 14 in 79 balls, and Brett Stolworthy reaching double figures.