Arthurton's effort keeps Norfolk alive
PUBLISHED: 12:25 07 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:39 06 July 2010
An intriguing final day's play is in store in the Minor Counties Championship between old adversaries Suffolk and Norfolk at Ipswich School. Suffolk enter the day 266 runs ahead with six second-innings wickets still standing and, assuming Norfolk don't bowl out their hosts, the timing of the declaration will be pivotal to the proceedings.
An intriguing final day's play is in store in the Minor Counties Championship between old adversaries Suffolk and Norfolk at Ipswich School.
Suffolk enter the day 266 runs ahead with six second-innings wickets still standing and, assuming Norfolk don't bowl out their hosts, the timing of the declaration will be pivotal to the proceedings.
On a wicket that has offered the bowlers some encouragement, runs have also flowed freely from the bat, none more so than from Norfolk opener Ben Patston's bat in his 28-ball half century on day one.
Norfolk, resuming their first innings on 126 for three, were eventually bowled out just 13 runs short of parity.
They were indebted to a splendid undefeated 76 by Great Witchingham teenager Sam Arthurton which spanned 133 balls and included eight fours in which he displayed maturity far beyond his 16 years of age.
Overnight not out batsmen Carl Rogers - who passed the 9,000 run mark in Championship cricket - and Stephen Gray both fell for 45 having extended their fourth-wicket alliance to 80. Arthurton then joined Chris Borrett in a sixth-wicket stand worth 83, compiled in 84 minutes between the 31st and 55th overs of the innings.
Arthurton then outlasted the tail as off spinner Chris Swallow snared three victims, two caught at short leg by Martyn Cull, to add to his scalp of Rogers, to finish with figures of four for 88.
Suffolk lost both openers caught at the wicket to Norwich left-arm seamer Aaron Watson before Cull, who scored a double century in Suffolk's last match at Hertfordshire, dropped anchor.
Together with Hassan Adnan he put on 97 in 62 minutes, with the former Derbyshire batsman outscoring Cull to such an extent that 43 runs were added for the loss of one wicket at the other end while Cull, on 46, scored just three.
Hassan's run-a-ball innings of 55 containing eight fours was ended when he was caught at short leg by James Spelman off Chris Brown, a decision he clearly was not happy with as he stayed in his crease before slowly trudging off.
Brown and slow left armer George Walker continued to wile away in tandem till the close of play, which was extended to 7.30pm to make up time lost to rain showers, with their solitary success coming when Chris Warn was stumped giving Brown the charge after a breezy 33 off 42 balls.
Cull was still there at stumps, undefeated on 89 laced with seven fours and two sixes.
Swallow, who will have a key role to play in Norfolk's second innings later today, said: “The wicket is very dry out there with the weather we have had and it is turning, so it was nice to have a long bowl.
“We will probably work on a tactic of a spinner on at one end and a seamer at the other and rotate the bowlers around, but we will need to be patient and let the pitch do the work.
“It is going to be difficult to win the match because the weather will be a factor, and we won't want to declare Norfolk out of the game or sell ourselves short.”
First innings (Overnight: 126 for 3)
C Rogers b Smith 45
S Gray st Warn b Swallow 45
C Borrett c Adnan b Smith 59
SS Arthurton not out 76
G Walker c Warn b Swallow 5
C Brown c Cull b Swallow 8
M Eccles c Cull b Swallow 3
AA Watson c Warn b France 0
Total (78.2 overs) 305
Fall: 4-148, 5-150, 6-233, 7-264, 8-292, 9-298, 10-305.
Bowling: Smith 21-5-72-3; Bishop 13-1-72-2; King 2-0-9-0; France 6.2-1-17-1; Swallow 28-5-88-4; Huggins 8-1-43-0.
First innings: 318 for 9 dec (T Huggins 120, B France 66, P Turnbull 45no, C Swallow 43, G Walker 6 for 120).
T Huggins c Gray b AA Watson 18
B France c Gray b AA Watson 19
M Cull not out 89
H Adnan c Spelman b Brown 55
C Warn st Gray b Brown 33
P Caley not out 7
Total (for 4 wkts, off 58 overs) 253
Fall: 1-24, 2-62, 3-159, 4-227.
Bowling: Eccles 9-0-33-0; Watson 9-0-33-2; Walker 21-2-77-0; Brown 19-2-78-2.