Norton in line for Wales NC debut as Cheshire head south


Teenager Tom Norton looks set to make his National Counties debut this Sunday when Wales host Cheshire at Panteg in the One Day Trophy.

The 16 year old Glamorgan academy all rounder hails from Abergavenny originally, and will be one of the youngest players to ever represent the senior side behind current Glamorgan staffer Alex Horton who broke the record back in 2018 aged 15. It’s a been a few years coming for Norton who has been around the periphery of the side over the last few years without making the final squad, despite having made numerous appearances for Glamorgan 2nd XI over the last two seasons. With Joseph Davies having sustained a suspected broken wrist against Dorset last weekend, and with Ben Morris not being given clearance by Glamorgan to play the Wales selectors have opted for the some further depth to the batting first and foremost with Norton’s medium pacers potentially to feature also.

CAPTION: Tom Norton (left) has been around the periphery of the Wales NC team for the last two seasons and looks set to make a debut this weekend at Panteg. Credit: CIAC Images.

It was again the batting that left the bowling group a lot to do last weekend with 227 never seeming like a challenging score on a good wicket at Wimborne. Again Wales found themselves chasing the game with both openers being nipped out in the opening overs before Steff Roberts and Brad Wadlan (35) stuck around to add a partnership of 69. Skipper Cam Herring might have felt unlucky to be given out down the leg side off the spin of David Scott for 13 and when Milo Ayres tamely chipped a full toss first ball to Connor Smith at mid wicket even 227 seemed a task to achieve. Steff Roberts – through some willing from Tegid Phillips (27) – batted superbly to guide Wales through the latter end of the innings to reach his first white ball hundred for Wales off 119 balls. He has looked a cut above the rest after a strong T20 campaign but couldn’t add further to his score after edging out of his crease the next ball after his milestone to give Eckland sharp stumping.

The early loss of Gordon – leg before to the dependable Adam Sylvester – didn’t stop captain Luke Webb (42) and David Scott (53) making inroads into the Welsh total and Webb’s departure to Alex Russell’s first Welsh wicket didn’t spark the collapse Wales would have been hoping for. Phillips managed an early breakthrough in his spell to remove Scott and the bowling was largely kept tight but Dorset were never in serious trouble of not reaching the target with 2 and half overs to spare.

The result leaves Wales with a lot of work to do to qualify for the quarter finals despite Cheshire and Hertfordshire’ game falling foul to the weather. They will need to beat both teams in their remaining games (and beat them well) to boost their net run rate above other teams. They will be encouraged by the return of Harry Friend and Henry Hurle at the top of the order. Friend makes a first appearance of the season now that exams are complete whilst Hurle is restored following his one game ban accrued in the T20 campaign. Jack Harding returns to the side in the absence of the injured Davies, alongside Tim Moses who missed the trip to Wimborne. Ollie Meadows is unavailable whilst Morgan Bevans and Tegid Phillips look set to miss out this round.

CAPTION: Steff Roberts brings up his second National Counties century (a first in white ball cricket) last Sunday against Dorset. Credit: Roger Byrne Photography.

Cheshire make the trip to South Wales missing a few regulars themselves with Alex Money, Charlie Barnard, former Glamorgan professional Joe Cooke and current Leicestershire pro Michael Finan all unavailable. Former pro Harry Dearden (45 first class appearances for the Foxes) leads the side with Welshman keeper-batter Will Evans also lining up against his native county.

Play commences from 11am at Panteg with admission free and live streaming hoping to be available.

Wales NC from: HLR Friend (Newport), SR Roberts (Swansea), HLR Hurle (Cardiff), BL Wadlan (Swansea), CL Herring*+ (Pontarddulais), TH Moses (Cowbridge), MC Ayres (Bedminster), TO Norton (Usk), AK Russell (Northants), A Hameed (Swansea), JC Harding (Taunton St Andrews).

Cheshire CCC from: HE Dearden* (Oxton), SJ Perry (Alderley Edge), WJ Evans+ (Colwyn Bay), D Newton (Lindow), HJ Dobson (Oxton), N Anderson (Disbury), S Green (Didsbury), KR Carroll (Brooklands), GJ Valentine (Alderley Edge), RA Lord (Bowdon), AJ Selby (Bowden), A Dufty (Alderley Edge).


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