Wet weather causes more away Minor Counties Championship frustration for Norfolk

Action from day two of Norfolk's drawn match, due to rain, against Cambridgeshire at Wisbech - Ashle

Action from day two of Norfolk's drawn match, due to rain, against Cambridgeshire at Wisbech - Ashley Watson batting. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Tim Ferley

Norfolk were left cursing their luck as rain thwarted their hopes of clinching a first three-day win on the road since 2013.

Ben France steams in for Norfolk against Cambridgeshire. Picture: TIM FERLEY

Ben France steams in for Norfolk against Cambridgeshire. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

The visitors had given themselves an excellent chance of claiming a long overdue away victory in the Minor Counties Championship going into yesterday's last installment of their Eastern Division season-opener at Cambridgeshire.

But for the second match running – including their final fixture of 2015, also away from Norfolk – Chris Brown's side were denied by the elements.

Just like in August at Lincolnshire, their latest match was abandoned without a ball being bowled in anger on the final day, forcing the clash to be declared a draw.

Norfolk skipper Brown said: 'In our last two games, both of which were away, we'd got ourselves in very, very winnable positions but it wasn't to be.

'When we got to the ground in Wisbech the rain just got heavier and heavier. It was relentless. We waited until early afternoon but you could tell by then there was going to be very little prospect of play.

'There's just nothing you can do about it. All morning the lads sat there on their phones checking the weather or watching films hoping we'd get out there eventually.

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'You can only control what you can control, and we did that well before yesterday, but unfortunately none of us can control the weather.'

Norfolk had only needed 101 runs to claim victory with eight second-innings wickets still remaining. Brown was rightly confident that his troops had ensured they'd got the job done before their misfortune continued.

It was particularly galling for Ben France who had recorded two five-wicket hauls in the match at Wisbech. Norfolk had let a decent position slip through their grasp on the first day but showed great character to take a hold of proceedings until mother nature played her part.

'We missed a couple of chances in Cambs' first innings,' said Brown.

'We could have got them out for 160-odd but they made 209. We were then 27-4 but we fought back thanks to a decent partnership from Lewis Denmark and Garry Park and some excellent work from Ashley Watson.

'We bowled excellently during their second innings and left ourselves with little more than 100 to win. We would have won that game but we can still take lots of positives out of it with bat and ball.'

Norfolk return to one-day action in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy quarter-finals at Staffordshire on Sunday June 12. They visit the same county on Sunday July 3 in their next three-day fixture.

Loss for ladies

Norfolk's women suffered disappointment of their own – but it had nothing to do with the wet weather.

Batting first at Oxfordshire, the visitors slumped to 82 all out. Opener Peggy Tirimanna top-scored with 13 while her side's healthiest contributor was in fact extras (23).

Aimee Palmer and Amy Cubbitt took a wicket apiece as the hosts secured a comfortable passage to victory.

Norfolk have have now lost all five of their Women's County Championship Division Three matches in 2016.