Northumberland battle back after sluggish start

Northumberland battle back after difficult start at Tynemouth

Cricket action
Cricket action

Northumberland fought back after losing the toss on a rain-affected first day of their Minor Counties Championship opener against Norfolk at Tynemouth.

With the wicket ends, in particular, wet following Saturday’s extensive rain, play did not get under way until mid-afternoon at Preston Avenue.

Northumberland were duly inserted by Norfolk captain Chris Brown on a wicket that traditionally gives assistance to the bowler.

The home side lost two early wickets with Karl Turner bowled by the last delivery of the opening over sent down by former Durham and Derbyshire all rounder Garry Park. An inauspicious start worsened when Jack Jessop drove at a full length ball from Michael Eccles only to edge a catch to wicket-keeper Simon Groves. At 12-2 Northumberland were on the back foot, but young debutant John Meadows and Durham Academy batsman Reece Carr steadied the ship.

The pair put on 84 for the third wicket before Meadows was trapped leg before three short of his half century by Ben France.

Carr, 18, was then caught at mid-on for 42 off left arm seamer Luke Caswell, both batsmen having struck six boundaries.

South African professional Jacques du Toit did bring up his fifty, and was unbeaten on 77 at the close of play.

The 34-year-old former Leicestershire batsman’s 114 ball knock included seven fours and two towering sixes over mid-wicket and long on.

Du Toit’s responsible innings built on the contributions from Meadows and Carr, while captain Adam Cragg chipped in with 33 before he edged experienced spinner Brown to first slip.

That brought to an end an 80-run partership with du Toit, who will now look to complete his third century for Northumberland.

“We’ve got another 24 overs to bat and the aim will be to get the score up to around 350,” said Northumberland Team manager Stuart Tiffin.

“We had to wait a few hours to get the game under way, but after a difficult start we have come back really well to reach 242-5 at stumps.”

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