Herts crash to defeat

Herts 175 and 351 lost to Norfolk 292 and 235-2 by eight wickets A second deeply disappointing defeat means that Herts make the long trip to Cumberland this weekend for their last match of the season still seeking their first Championship win. They had ho

Herts 175 and 351 lost to Norfolk 292 and 235-2 by eight wickets

A second deeply disappointing defeat means that Herts make the long trip to Cumberland this weekend for their last match of the season still seeking their first Championship win.

They had hoped to bounce back from the loss to Northumberland at Bishop's Stortford with a impressive performance against Norfolk at Norwich.

But it was not to be as they lost the toss and were put into bat on a wet wicket. The ball nipped around both ways early on, which made survival, let alone scoring runs, a hard task.

David Ward showed what could be done with a battling 55, and got solid support from the Welwyn Garden City all-rounder Ben Frazer, with 40, but Herts were dismissed for a below-par 175.

"A number were guilty of giving their wickets away and 175 was not a score that reflected the wicket," said captain Andy Lewis. "While it was hard work, it wasn't that bad."

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That became evident when Norfolk batted with experienced openers Rogers and Amos both passing half-centuries without difficulty.

Frazer managed to winkle them out late on, and his club colleague Simon White bowled an amazing seven overs without conceding a single run.

Herts needed to dig deep on the second morning to prevent the game running away from them and they did so really well, working exceptionally hard to bowl Norfolk out for 292 just after lunch.

Frazer bowled a marathon spell of 42 overs to take 7-142 and White ended up with 3-63 from 23.4 overs.

Herts were 117 behind, a rain delay helped them by taking time out of the game, and they came out to bat determined to build partnerships and to be positive.

At 51-3 that had not quite happened. Ward rose to the challenge magnificently, however, with a thoroughly responsible and grafting century - an innings out of character with his normal pyrotechnics - to keep the game alive.

David Hughes, the Bishop's Stortford captain, making his return to the side after a long absence due to work commitments, battled well with Ward before being bowled for 26 and then Aaron Laraman, the Welwyn GC all-rounder, joined Ward to set up what looked like being an enthralling last day, with Herts 86 runs in front with six wickets in hand.

Ward made 139, Laraman an excellent 82 and Frazer 38.

But just when Herts needed to take further time out of the game to put Norfolk under real pressure, they lost their last four wickets for just nine runs to be all out for 351.

That left a target of 232 in a minimum of 49 overs. Although Laraman bowled Amos in his second over, Rogers and the former Kent batsman Trevor Ward took the game away.

Ward ended on 120 as Norfolk got home in the 47th over for the loss of two wickets.

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