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Walker spins Norfolk into last eight

PUBLISHED: 10:49 01 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:52 06 July 2010

Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers fancies his side's MCCA Knock Out Trophy chances after hammering Hertfordshire by 96 runs yesterday to set up a quarter-final date with Lincolnshire.

Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers fancies his side's MCCA Knock Out Trophy chances after hammering Hertfordshire by 96 runs yesterday to set up a quarter-final date with Lincolnshire.

Rogers' men knew it was win or bust in their group two finale to secure second spot behind leaders Staffordshire and a last-eight away tie to the group four table toppers.

Swardeston all-rounder George Walker starred with bat and ball to clinch a comprehensive Norfolk win at Welwyn Garden City.

Walker celebrated the award of his county cap during innings with Norfolk one-day career best batting and bowling figures - smashing an unbeaten 57 in a pivotal seventh wicket 105-stand with James Spelman.

The Swardeston spinner then broke a stubborn 43-run sixth wicket partnership for the hosts before also removing dangerman Aaron Laraman (55) on his way to figures of four for 20.

Norfolk will now travel to Grantham on Sunday, June 14, just two wins away from the showpiece final at Durham's Riverside.

Rogers' side can inflict some psychological damage ahead of that tie when they face Lincolnshire in their Minor Counties Championship opener, starting this Sunday at Sleaford.

“We know it will be a tough game because they are always a good side,” he said. “I expect they will come at us but we beat them last year at Grantham. I know that doesn't count for much this time around but the way we are playing there is no reason we canbeat them.

“Now it's all about who performs on the day when you reach the knock-out stages. We just have to make sure we are up for it. Hopefully we can take this confidence into the three day game as well although I think the team may change slightly.

“We've only lost the one tie in this competition, at Staffs, and looking back I felt at the time we didn't have much luck or the rub of the green. We lost the toss and got put in on a green wicket. I honestly believe there is no reason we could not have given them a little better game if we had won the toss.”

Rogers saluted Walker's inspirational display on his personal red letter day.

“He played a great innings for a number eight,” he said. “To come in and bat like that was tremendous. Then he bowled really well - he got it to spin more than anybody and made it very hard to score runs off him. It was nice timing for him to go out and play as well as he did after being awarded his cap.”

Walker and Spelman smashed 96 runs off the final ten overs of Norfolk's innings after Herts looked to have the upper hand following the dismissals of Trevor Ward (71) and Stephen Gray (47).

“I think Herts probably thought at one point they had their foot in the door but the momentum at lunch swung around to us,” said Rogers. “We batted extremely well after a little bit of a shaky start. Wardy and Grays got us back on the road then we had another wobble but we look quite a strong batting side.

“With George coming in at number eight and James at number seven they played really well and hit the ball without slogging it. To put on a 100 or so just hitting the ball into the gaps was what we wanted.

“I thought when we lost wickets in the middle order that we could struggle to creep up to 220, 230 and be grateful for that but they way those boys played made it a major score to chase.”

Norfolk's new ball attack of Michael Eccles and Paul Bradshaw decimated Herts' top order in a venomous opening spell before Walker and Norfolk's spinning unit applied scoreboard pressure.

“You need your quick lads to get a couple of the top order out early and they did the job,” said Rogers. “Then we brought the spinners into the game as we have done in many of these games to try and put the pressure on.

“It's about trying to get the rate up because when you have a big score like that to defend its okay going at four or five an over. You just need to stop the boundaries - then you are in the box seat and we managed to do that.”

t SCOREBOARD

Norfolk innings

CJ Rogers c Gale b White 5

BJ Patson c Gale b White 11

SK Gray c Greenall b Southgate 47

TW Ward st Greenall b Barker 71

CR Borrett c Lewis b Barker 21

J Trower run out (Lewis) 4

JM Spelman not out 44

GW Walker not out 57

Extras (13 wides, 3 leg byes, 2 no balls) 18

t Total (for 6 wkts, 50 overs) 278

Fall: 1-20, 2-22, 3-136, 4-153, 5-171, 6-173

Bowling: NJ Lamb 7-1-37-0, SP White 10-2-23-2, JP Hewitt 4-0-38-0, BJ Frazer 10-0-64-0, PB Barker 10-1-57-2, JE Southgate 9-0-56-1.

Hertfordshire innings

JP Hewitt c Ward b Eccles 10

SR Gale c Gray b Eccles 15

AS Lewis c Borrett b Bradshaw 11

NGE Walker b Bradshaw 22

AW Laraman c Ward b Walker 55

JE Southgate c Trower b Walker 3

BJ Frazer c Gray b Walker 27

NJ Lamb c Spelman b Eccles 25

SP White lbw b Walker 2

PB Barker b Rogers 6

SD Greenall not out 2

Extras (1 wide, 3 leg byes) 4

t Total (45.4 overs) 182

Fall: 1-15, 2-26, 3-58, 4-67, 5-79, 6-142, 7-149, 8-159, 9-172, 10-182

Bowling: PJ Bradshaw 8-1-41-2, MP Eccles 7.4-0-33-3, C Brown 10-0-41-0, GW Walker 10-3-20-4, CJ Rogers 10-0-44-1.

Norfolk won by 96 runs

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