Captain Charlie Home was impressed with Shropshire’s run chase as the county beat Norfolk by five wickets to register their first NCCA Trophy win of the season.
A fine second-wicket partnership of 147 between Andre Bradford and Tom Fell set up a successful chase at Whitchurch, with victory eventually secured with 15 balls to spare.
Shropshire – beaten in their opening Group Three match in the 50-over format this season at Suffolk last month – had earlier performed well with the ball to restrict Norfolk to 223-9 at Heath Road.
The result sets Shropshire up nicely for another home game against Cambridgeshire at St George’s on Sunday (11am start).
Home said: “It’s really nice to get our first win in the 50-over competition. We had a good win in our last T20 match at Northumberland and then produced a good bowling and fielding performance in our first Trophy game at Suffolk, so it was nice to put it all together against Norfolk.
“It was a very good chase from the word go. George Hargrave got 30 and some of the shots he hit were fantastic.
“Then Andre Bradford and Tom Fell were a class above. The way that they batted and some of the shots they played, the way that they paced the innings, it was just great to watch.
“It’s pleasing to see them in the runs moving into our last two group games in the 50-over competition and then the longer format.
“Tom was eventually out to what was some catch, but thankfully for us he got 88. A lot of the game was done by the time both he and Andre were out.
“We spoke about taking the game deep and they certainly did that.”
Shropshire’s reply was given a positive start by openers Bradford and Hargrave putting on 50 for the first wicket, before Shrewsbury’s Hargrave, having made 30 from 28 balls, headed back to the pavilion.
That brought together Bradford and Fell, the former Worcestershire batter, and they built an excellent partnership.
It was eventually ended with the score on 197 when Fell was out for 88, which came off 97 balls and included nine fours and two sixes.
From 197-1, Shropshire were suddenly 202-4 when Bradford, having faced 130 deliveries and struck seven boundaries, went for 71.
Callum Metcalf (2-44) and Andy Hanby (2-50) enjoyed some success for Norfolk, but Shropshire remained in control and promising all-rounder Jack Home sealed victory as the county advanced to 224-5.
Home had earlier invited Norfolk to bat on winning the toss and the visitors made an assured start.
Openers Sam Arthurton (28) and Ben Curran (22) put on 64 before off-spinner Home (3-28) bowled former Northamptonshire batter Curran.
Bridgnorth captain Matty Simmonds (2-36) then struck twice, as did Jack Home (2-26), in his case twice in the same over, to leave Norfolk 99-5.
Alfie Cooper hit 35 before Ryan Findlay, batting at eight, struck an unbeaten 53 for Norfolk, with Sam Ellis and Ben Roberts both also taking a wicket for Shropshire.
Reflecting on his side’s efforts with the ball, skipper Home said: “It was great to have Matty Simmonds in the team. Theo Wylie had to pull out of the side on Saturday night, but Simmo was available to play and he played a big part in the game. He got a few runs at the end and bowled well.
“There was a bit more in the pitch for the spinners than the seamers, so we bowled our 20 overs between us.
“Jack seemed to get a little bit out of it because of the skiddier trajectory. When he took two wickets in the same over, it was a big plus point for us and it helped change the course of the game.
“There’s still a few things we can work on. We had them eight down and they put on 50 for the last two wickets, so it would have been nice to have finished things off probably 30 runs earlier, but we did well on the whole.”
As he now looks ahead to Sunday’s home match against Cambridgeshire, Home added: “St George’s have not hosted a Shropshire game for a while, so I think they’re really looking forward to staging the game and we’re looking forward to being there.
“Fingers crossed that we can continue where we left off at Whitchurch. If we play like we did against Norfolk again then we will give ourselves a good chance.”
Pictured: Shropshire captain Charlie Home, who took 3-28 from 10 overs, bowling against Norfolk at Whitchurch.