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Frustration as rain halts Norfolk chase

PUBLISHED: 11:18 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 06 July 2010

Norfolk's showdown with Suffolk for Minor Counties Championship supremacy ended in a soggy stalemate at Ipswich School yesterday. The three-day fixture between the two neighbouring counties was blighted by the weather - just as it was last year - as it was shaping up into a potentially absorbing climax.

Norfolk's showdown with Suffolk for Minor Counties Championship supremacy ended in a soggy stalemate at Ipswich School yesterday.

The three-day fixture between the two neighbouring counties was blighted by the weather - just as it was last year - as it was shaping up into a potentially absorbing climax.

Norfolk, thanks largely to the efforts of slow left armer George Walker, dismissed Suffolk for 337, meaning they were left to score 351 for victory in a minimum of 75 overs.

However, three separate rain breaks saw the loss of 25 overs' play and, even though Suffolk sent down 60 overs in the visitors' second innings, the game was destined to end in a draw long before the close.

Ben Patston ensured Norfolk got off to a fast start, scoring 38 from only 30 deliveries, in an opening stand of 59 with James Spelman.

After he departed and the rain returned for a second time the match meandered to its inevitable conclusion, so that by the time the third interruption arrived, the scheduled final hour was a non-event.

Stephen Gray was bowled trying to pull Hassan Adnan's first delivery to end a fourth-wicket stand of 50 with Trevor Ward, before the loss of a further seven overs as the rain started to fall.

In the ten overs that remained, the only statistic of note was that Ward reached his half-century, and finished undefeated on 66 made from 143 balls with 10 fours.

It was a sorry finale to a contest that had promised so much as Suffolk entered the last day 266 runs ahead with six second-innings wickets intact.

Martyn Cull fell four short of a century, before a seventh-wicket stand of 61 between skipper Justin Bishop and Chris Swallow.

The innings subsided as the last four wickets fell for the addition of just 12 runs, with Walker taking his tally to 11 victims in the match.

Both sides took 11 points, so Norfolk remain two points ahead of Suffolk at the half-way stage. Norfolk's next game starts at Bedfordshire on Sunday.

SCOREBOARD

Suffolk (11pts) drew with Norfolk (11pts).

t Suffolk

First innings: 318 for 9 dec (T Huggins 120, B France 66, P Turnbull 45no, C Swallow 43, G Walker 6 for 120).

Second innings (Overnight: 253 for 4)

M Cull c Rogers b Walker 96

P Caley c Ward b Walker 10

J Bishop c Patston b Walker 25

C Swallow lbw b Brown 37

P Turnbull c & b Walker 4

T Smith not out 4

P King c Eccles b Walker 4

Extras 32

Total (off 81.5 overs) 337

Fall: 5-261, 6-264, 7-325, 8-325, 9-333.

Bowling: Eccles 15-1-52-0; Watson 9-0-33-2; Walker 32.5-3-122-5; Brown 25-3-98-3.

t Norfolk First innings: 305 (S Arthurton 76no, C Borrett 59, C Rogers 45, S Gray 45, C Swallow 4 for 88).

Norfolk Second innings

J Spelman c Huggins b Swallow 17

B Patston c France b Bishop 38

C Rogers c Adnan b Swallow 16

T Ward not out 66

S Gray b Adnan 26

C Borrett not out 16

Extras 15

Total (for 4 wkts, off 60 overs) 194

Fall: 1-59, 2-69, 3-106, 4-156.

Bowling: Smith 5-2-17-0; King 3-0-25-0; Swallow 27-6-64-2; Bishop 7-3-7-1; Huggins 10-1-41-0; Adnan 2-0-9-1.

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