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Norfolk travel to Cumberland hoping to close campaign on a high

Lewis Denmark in action against Cumberland in May. Photo: IAN BURT

Lewis Denmark in action against Cumberland in May. Photo: IAN BURT

Finishing on a high is the target for Norfolk as they prepare for their final match of the Unicorns Minor Counties Championship season.

Chris Brown’s team head to the picturesque settings of Sedbergh School, near Kendal, to take on Cumberland on Sunday. Just four points separate the teams in mid-table, with both having won one of their five matches but Cumberland in fifth place due to one more draw.

Norfolk met their opponents earlier in the season, in a Unicorns Knockout Trophy group match at Fakenham in May.

Cumberland won that one-day match with six wickets to spare, with Lewis Denmark scoring 78 as Norfolk were bowled out for 220, before the visitors reached 224 for four.

“I’ve never played at Sedbergh School before but I’ve talked to several players who say it is a wonderful venue with beautiful surroundings in the Lake District,” Brown said, ahead of Norfolk’s first trip to Cumberland in three years.

“We’re told it’s an excellent pitch as well so our boys are looking forward to playing Cumberland and if we can get a positive result then we can finish in the top four of the Championship.

“That, along with the quarter-finals of the one-day Trophy competition, would be a fair season, so we’re really looking forward to the game.”

There are two changes to the team which was beaten by 47 runs by joint leaders Northumberland in the final match of the annual Norfolk Festival of Cricket last week.

With opening bowler Ben France still struggling with a heel problem and a side strain, and Lewis Denmark and Matthew Warnes unavailable, Norfolk welcome back Jordan Taylor and Ashley Watson for the match.

Brown, who currently tops the National MCCA Unicorns Championship bowling chart with the most wickets (34) and best average (13.08), feels the squad make the long trip up north with plenty to feel positive about.

“The spirit is excellent within the group, we’ve played some good cricket this year,” the Norfolk skipper continued. “In the last game we lost to Northumberland, who are worthy of being top of the Championship table and had the best seam attack that we’ve come across in quite some time.

“Our batting has let us down in the last three innings so hopefully we can put that right at Cumberland.”

Norfolk (v Cumberland, Sunday): James Spelman, Sam Arthurton, Jimmy Hale, Jordan Taylor, Garry Park, Ashley Watson, Luke Caswell, Chris Brown (C), Brett Stolworthy, Ben Coote, Sam Groves (WK)

• Norfolk Lions continue their campaign in the East of England Development Competition today.

The leaders travel to Southill Park CC to take on Bedfordshire (11am), looking to bounce back from a two-wicket defeat in the final over at Essex on Tuesday.

Lions (v Bedfordshire, today): Luke Caswell (C), Will Rogers, Jordan Everett, Robbie Bridgstock, Osca Binny, Chris Read, Connor Green, Ben Coote, Charlie Rogers, Kieran Peters, Tom Poole (WK)

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