Victory at Cumberland sees Norfolk finish season on a high
Norfolk finished their season in style, with a dramatic final session sealing their first away win in the Unicorns Minor Counties Championship for three years.
Jordan Taylor’s maiden county century set up the victory over Cumberland at Sedbergh School – but some ruthless bowling was also required late on.
The visitors resumed on 147 for one and saw Jimmy Hale fall early to leave them with a lead of 66 as the final day of the match began to take shape.
Garry Park then stepped in with a stylish 55 as an 83-run partnership with Taylor kept the Norfolk challenge on track. The remaining seven wickets fell cheaply within the next 20 overs, with Ben Coote offering the best resistance with 25.
A total of 326 left Chris Brown’s side with a lead of 239 – but with around 42 overs left to play, a draw was looking most likely.
That still looked to be the case when the hosts stood on 75-1 after a rapid nine overs. However, Brown had William Hale caught by Park for 50 and soon after bowled Michael Slack to reduce Cumberland to 107 for three.
Sam Arthurton ran Sam Dutton out for 30 and three further wickets fell within the next nine overs to reduce the home side to 174 for seven.
Two of those went to Ashley Watson and another two soon followed to take his personal tally to four on the day and reduce Cumberland to 202 for nine – still 38 runs short of victory.
The danger was snuffed out by skipper Brown though, fittingly, for a man who went into the match on top of the national MCCA Unicorns Championship bowling chart.
The long-serving spinner had Toby Bulcock caught behind by Sam Groves for three to kick-off the celebrations – finishing with figures of 58 for four in 13.4 overs and taking his overall tally to 38 wickets in six Championship matches.
It also sealed a first three-day away win for Norfolk since a six-wicket success at Staffordshire in August 2013.