By Paddy von Behr
BEDFORDSHIRE are without a Championship win since July 2010 but captain Andrew Reynoldson is certain it’s on the way.
The latest effort came at Horsford where Reynoldson’s side – winless in each of their last three Championship campaigns – recorded a third draw of the season.
Norfolk were the opposition and ultimately it was a composed Sam Arthurton century that was Bedfordshire’s undoing. With a 53-run deficit at the halfway stage, Bedfordshire were always up against the clock and without some resilient batting on day three the result could have been even worse.
But both sides eventually settled for a draw and Reynoldson, who took the reins as captain at the start of this season, conceded a lack of cutting edge with the ball cost them.
However, he is determined not to see this campaign follow a now familiar route and is adamant the county has the necessary quality to break the duck soon.
“It is frustrating but we are going in the right direction,” said the skipper. “A couple of those recent games should have been wins.
“Last year we didn’t win a game but this year I have taken on the captaincy and taken on a couple of lads that I have played with – Dan Blacktopp and Jon Carpenter – and we are going in the right direction. We are missing a front-line bowler but our batting is all sorted.
“(Captaincy) has gone really well, to be fair. They are a good bunch of lads who want to push forward for the next couple of years and stick together. All we need is a front-line bowler and I think we are sorted.
“It was looking at one stage like they were going to try and bowl us out for a 100-run lead and knock it off but a couple of our lads batted very well.
“This year we have shown a lot of guts with our batting. There was no way you could bowl a team out on that track in a session and a half. The best we could have got was a draw.”
Bedfordshire got the contest off to a confident start with opener Charlie Thurston leading from the front and eventually falling just ten short of his century. Thurston was joined by George Thurstance (89) towards the end of his knock and the latter then went on to amass 88 with Martin Weightman (47) for the sixth wicket.
However the wheels came off and 285-5 became 298 all out, leaving Reynoldson lamenting a wasted platform. Athurton’s 166 was the bedrock of Norfolk’s reply and only a flurry of wickets from Reynoldson himself (4-57) halted the hosts, who declared at 351-9.
With the advantage, Norfolk went after the win and had their visitors in some trouble, taking regular wickets to reduce them to 190-7 – Ryan Findlay (5-115) the chief aggressor.
A resilient tail wagged to ensure Norfolk wouldn’t have another go with the bat but captain Garry Park could at least look back fondly on the knock by Arthurton, 22.
“It was class,” he said. “He is a very good player who batted really well throughout the innings. He is a youngster who has got a lot of ability and should go a long way if he is given a chance.
“It was a pretty flat wicket so it was always going to be hard work. Our bowlers bowled well and we came very close but just didn’t quite get over the line.
“I think going into the next two games we are going to look to get some positive results and take that into next season. The chances of us winning or coming second are slim.”