Norfolk spinner George Walker’s incredible form in 2009 saw him top the county’s bowling averages in both one-day and three-day cricket.
The Swardeston left armer claimed 41 victims in the Minor Counties Championship at an average of 19.34, with his match figures of 16 for 96 in the final game against Cambridgeshire creating a post war record for Norfolk. Fellow spinner Chris Brown weighed in with 31 wickets at 25.87 as the slow bowlers once again proved Norfolk’s most potent method of attack.
Walker was also the leading light as Norfolk won the 50-over MCCA Knockout Trophy competition, beating Staffordshire in the final at Durham’s Riverside ground. He claimed 15 wickets at a miserly average of 11.26, including a best performance of four for 20 against Hertfordshire. That tally just bettered pace bowler and Swardeston colleague Michael Eccles’ return of 14 one-day wickets, which included his man of the match contribution of five for 34 at the Riverside.
Trevor Ward scored most Championship runs – 476 at an average of 59.50 – but significantly there was better back-up this year as Norfolk enjoyed a more productive season than the disappointing 2008 campaign. James Spelman was not far behind Ward with 459 and skipper Carl Rogers amassed 335 runs from 12 innings.
Ben Patston made some impressive contributions in both forms of the game, smashing a blistering 107 as Norfolk fell one run short of victory in a mammoth Championship run chase against Staffordshire at Manor Park. He also set Norfolk on their way against the same opponents in the MCCA final with an equally destructive 65.
Norwich spinner Ashley Watson was drafted into the side as a lower order batsman in the Championship match against Hertfordshire at Manor Park and responded with a century, although the game signalled the end of Norfolk’s title ambitions as the visitors decided against a realistic declaration on the final day.
Youth was given a chance in 2009, with teenagers Sam Arthurton and Sam Thelwell both making an impression. Arthurton made an unbeaten 76 in the three-day game against Suffolk, while Thelwell showed few nerves when taking the new ball and picked up six Championship wickets.
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press