Thomas hits two tons but Bedfordshire are held

Bedfordshire appeal for a wicket against Norfolk
Bedfordshire appeal for a wicket against Norfolk

Luke Thomas smashed centuries in both innings as Bedfordshire were held to a draw by Norfolk in their MCCA Championship opener at Wardown Park this week.

The county opener posted a massive 171 off 241 balls in his side’s first innings on Sunday.

He then followed that up with a swashbuckling 147 in the second innings as Beds piled on the runs in the hope of securing victory, which ultimately proved beyond them.

Bedfordshire chose to bat on Sunday and it proved to be the right decision.

Thomas built partnerships throughout the top order and his huge score, alongside 55 from George Thurstance, helped the side to 341-7 in 90 overs.

Andy Reynoldson also made a quickfire 29 and Jake Nicholls was 21 not out.

Norfolk’s first innings response began well with an 83 run opening partnership but after that the Beds bowlers took wickets at regular intervals – Reynoldson the pick of the attacking, claiming 5-60 - to restrict them to 259 all out.

Going into the second innings 82 runs ahead Beds piled on the pressure and kept the scoreboard ticking over at more than four runs and over.

After an opening partnership of 58 between Thomas and James Kettleborough (22), who was playing due to Glamorgan not having a game, Thomas put on 155 for the second wicket with skipper James Middlebrook (70).

Bedfordshire declared on 262-2, leaving Norfolk needing an unlikely 344 for victory.

They again made a promising start, putting on 58 in 13 overs for the first wicket, before Ed Wharton had James Spelman caught by George Thurstance.

Ben France then fell for eight, again to Wharton, but Sam Arthurton and ex-Derbyshire batsman Gary Park steadied the ship, putting on 110 for the third wicket.

Park was dismissed by Reynoldson, while Colin Griggs bowled Chris Brown, before Arthurton eventually went for a well-made 121, Griggs (2-28) claiming him.

However, time ran out and Norfolk closed on 253-5, which was enough for Beds to pick up 12 bonus points.

The county now head to Harpenden to play Hertfordshire in the MCCA Unicorns Twenty20 competition on Sunday.