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Norfolk end their two year wait for victory

PUBLISHED: 12:42 10 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:04 06 July 2010

George Walker took nine wickets against Lincolnshire at Sleaford.

George Walker took nine wickets against Lincolnshire at Sleaford.

Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers labelled his side's Minor Counties Championship nine wicket win over Lincolnshire at Sleaford as the best of his captaincy.

Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers labelled his side's Minor Counties Championship nine wicket win over Lincolnshire at Sleaford as the best of his captaincy.

Rogers (62 not out) fittingly saw Norfolk home alongside opener James Spelman (60 not out) to seal their first Championship victory in two seasons.

Norfolk were set 143 after spinners Chris Brown and (four-for-111) and George Walker (six-for-121) had restricted the hosts to 242 all out in their second innings. Both finished the match with nine-wicket hauls - Walker for 129, Brown for 127.

Lincs' paceman Aaron Onyon trapped Jonathan Trower (13) for an early breakthrough but Rogers and Spelman stylishly knocked off the required runs after surviving a hostile spell before tea.

“They're always competitive, always one of the better sides so it is a good win for us,” said Rogers. “That's my first since taking over as captain although we did win four the year I took over from Brads (Paul Bradshaw), but, yes, it must be right up there. To come here with two or three young lads is great experience for them and a good win for the team.

“I was a bit concerned at one point when I saw black clouds overhead but it wasn't too bad a total to chase down - even though plenty of sides have got stuck chasing that.

“It's really about making sure they don't get their foot in the door early. I remember they nearly did that at Manor Park two or three years ago when we were chasing 150 and we ended up being eight down, but Jaik Mickleburgh got us home.”

Rogers refuses to talk up Norfolk's Championship chances despite an emphatic win over last season's Eastern Division table toppers.

“It's difficult to say what we can do in the Championship,” he said. “A lot of it depends on what the pitches turn out to be like. We've been lucky in that we've played on dry pitches so far. I think it's no secret we didn't score enough runs last year but it helps the batters when the pitches are a lot drier in league games. We're in better form this year simply because we're playing every weekend - it does make quite a lot of difference.”

Norfolk spin duo Brown and Walker claimed 18 wickets in the match - their 8-20 spell after tea on day two the defining session of this rain-affected contest as Lincs slumped to 79 all out in their first innings.

“For them to bowl 45 overs or so each straight through during the second innings was unbelievable,” said Rogers. “They stuck to it, kept going, and to be fair we had some dropped catches early on but you just knew if they kept bowling like that wickets would come.

“With two bowlers in tandem as a captain you can almost let them go to a certain degree. On a pitch like that you know exactly how they're going to bowl and you can set fields to them which makes it quite easy.”

Lincs resumed on 39-2 overnight - 61 runs behind Norfolk - but Brown and Walker were quickly among the wickets again before Paul Cook (58) and home skipper Ollie Burford (33) frustrated Norfolk with a 63-run seventh wicket stand.

Walker trapped Burford to lift the siege before the Swardeston left armer snared Onyon three balls later. Cook went after superb glove work from wicket keeper Stephen Gray - diving forward to grasp Brown's delivery at the second attempt after Cook's clip off his legs struck short leg fielder Spelman.

Brett Houston and Charlie Hopkins added a valuable 32 runs for the final Lincs' wicket - Hopkins flaying Brown for two sixes in the same over - before finding substitute fielder Harry Bush.

Trower's dismissal raised faint Lincs' hope of an improbable Norfolk collapse but Rogers and Spelman rarely looked troubled at the crease.

Rogers, however, dismissed any suggestion Norfolk now had the upper hand ahead of Sunday's MCCA Trophy quarter-final at Grantham.

“It's a completely different game, different side,” he said. “Our confidence might be up but unfortunately in this game you have to start all over again.

“Grantham is a different track as well. We played there last year and it seamed around but with the drier weather there might be some help for the spinners.”

t SCOREBOARD

Overnight: Norfolk 179 (Rogers 61), Lincs 79 (Brown 5-16) & 39-2.

t Lincs 2nd innings continued

WA Kirby c Spelman b Brown 17

SJ Airey lbw Walker 2

M Dowman c Spelman b Walker 78

PNG Morgan b Brown 4

PG Cook c Gray b Brown 58

OE Burford lbw Walker 33

AR Onyon c Trower b Walker 0

BW Houston not out 3

C Hoskins c sub (Bush) b Brown 29

Extras (b8 lb2) 10

Total (89.1 overs) 242

Fall: 1-8, 2-14, 3-70, 4-77, 5-130, 6-137, 7-204, 8-204, 9-210, 10-242.

Bowling: Brown 44.1-13-111-4, G Walker 45-7-121-6

t Norfolk 2nd innings

JM Spelman not out 60

J Trower lbw Onyon 13

CJ Rogers not out 62

Extras (b3 lb2 w6) 11

Total (for one wkt, 34.5 overs) 146

Fall: 1-20.

Bowling: Onyon 7-2,24-1, Airey 7-024-0, Houston 6.5-2-29-0, Bansal 7-0-32-0, Hopkins 5-1-20-0, Atri 1-0-10-0, Dowman 1-0-2-0

Norfolk (21pts) beat Lincolnshire (2pts) by nine wickets

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