Search

All square after dramatic Norfolk run chase

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:22 06 July 2010

Norfolk spin bowler Chris Brown can only look on as Staffordshire centurion Liam Hughes adds another run to his tally. Picture: James Bass

Norfolk spin bowler Chris Brown can only look on as Staffordshire centurion Liam Hughes adds another run to his tally. Picture: James Bass

Ben Patston's blistering century paved the way for high drama at Manor Park last night as Norfolk fell just one run short of victory against Staffordshire in the Minor Counties Championship.

Ben Patston's blistering century paved the way for high drama at Manor Park last night as Norfolk fell just one run short of victory against Staffordshire in the Minor Counties Championship.

The game ended in a scores level draw as, with two needed from the final ball to reach a victory target of 318, Michael Eccles was restricted to a single.

After enduring a miserable, wicketless morning session as both Liam Hughes and Kim Barnett posted unbeaten centuries, Norfolk were faced with a daunting target following Staffordshire's lunchtime declaration on 413 for four.

The hosts' intentions were clear when Trevor Ward was promoted up the order to open with Patston, but, after two early boundaries, the former Leicestershire and Kent man had to take a back seat as his partner cut loose.

In the fourth over, Patston rocked back and cut Greg Willott for four before lofting the next delivery over the top for another boundary.

Three more Patston boundaries followed in the next Willott over and there was more punishment for the Staffs bowler soon afterwards as the Norfolk opener smashed a huge straight six.

Patston needed to ride his luck occasionally and in the 11th over another aerial drive was spilt over the boundary by the fielder at long off.

That prompted Staffs skipper Paul Goodwin to turn to spin - but it barely mattered to Patston as he tore into Russell Ballard, who had taken five wickets in the first innings.

He deposited a Ballard delivery over long on for another six to surpass his first innings score of 75 and struck two straight fours in his next over, while Ward was also punishing anything loose.

Patston enjoyed another slice of fortune on 91 as a straightforward chance at long on went to ground, but the luck did not last for Norfolk as Ward was given out lbw to Gareth Morris from the next delivery.

A shell-shocked Ballard was taken out of the attack to be replaced by Liam Hughes, but it was different bowler, same result as his second ball vanished into the distance at long on to move Patston to within three runs of his maiden county century.

He briefly looked anxious to reach the landmark, but was gifted a full toss by Hughes in the 31st over and he gratefully accepted the chance to move into three figures.

Hughes took revenge in his next over as Patston's blitz came to an end with a slice to short third man, leaving Norfolk with two new batsmen, skipper Carl Rogers and Chris Borrett, at the crease.

Rogers was caught at leg slip off Hughes, but Norfolk reached tea in a strong position at 197 for three.

With the foundations laid, first innings centurion James Spelman and Borrett accumulated steadily before Spelman chased a wide ball from Morris and was caught behind.

Borrett brought up his 50 in the 55th over and Norfolk went into the final hour needing 72 from 17 overs with six wickets intact.

Jonathan Trower departed for 22 and suddenly the hosts began to look vulnerable. George Walker reverse swept into the hands of backward point and Ben Harvey was then bowled by a full delivery, those two victims completing Morris' five-wicket haul.

Chris Brown joined Borrett to chip away at the target with singles, until Brown relieved the pressure by smashing Will Purser down the ground for four, leaving Norfolk needing 13 from 17 balls.

An all-run four courtesy of an overthrow at the start of the penultimate over again put Norfolk on course - but four dot balls soon put the result back in the melting pot.

Brown ran himself out on the third ball of the final over, before Borrett stole a single to leave Eccles in the firing line, needing four from two balls.

He smashed the penultimate delivery into the off side and just for a moment it seemed to be heading for the boundary, but Staffs fielders converged on the ball and restricted him to two.

Eccles could then only squeeze the final ball into the leg side for a single - and fittingly it was the man who had done more than anyone to keep Staffs in the game in the first two days, former England Test player Barnett, who fielded and denied Norfolk a memorable victory.

Minor Counties Championship

Scores level draw (Norfolk 15pts, Staffs 9pts)

t Staffordshire first innings: 183

t Second innings (Overnight 201-4)

KJ Barnett not out 126

LD Hughes not out 184

Extras 12

Total (for 4 dec, 116 overs) 413

Bowling: M Eccles 17-3-80-0, AA Watson 13-0-59-0, C Brown 37-9-72-4, G Walker 37-9-120-0, C Borrett 4-0-24-0, J Spelman 3-0-25-0, C Rogers 5-0-22-0.

Fall: 1-46, 2-74, 3-109, 4-113.

t Norfolk first innings: 279-9

t Second innings

T Ward lbw Morris 46

B Patston c Dawson b L Hughes 107

C Rogers c Wilshaw b L Hughes 9

C Borrett not out 89

J Spelman c Goodwin b Morris 18

J Trower c Goodwin b Morris 22

G Walker c A Hughes b Morris 1

B Harvey b Morris 1

M Eccles not out 3

Extras 10

Total (8 wkts, 73 overs) 317

Bowling: W Purser 14-2-57-0, G Willott 6-0-40-0, G Morris 30-4-97-5, R Ballard 6-0-43-0, L Hughes 17-1-71-2.

Fall: 1-139, 2-166, 3-171, 4-128, 5-274, 6-284, 7-288, 8-313.

t High Cross MoM: Liam Hughes

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists