Caddick conjures up hat-trick

Gloucestershire 118 Somerset 122-5 Somerset win by 5 wkts
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The Independent Online
Andy Caddick performed the first hat-trick of his career, leaving Gloucestershire a smoking ruin at 75 for 5 in the 13th over, but was unimpressed "I think I bowled crap," he said.

Such philosophical pondering is unusual in a fast bowler, especially one born in the Antipodes, and called for further explanation. Caddick had been unable to decide whether he was bowling off a short or medium length run; his direction was awry, his length variable. His first five overs cost 37 runs.

Of his three victims, Monte Lynch waved outside the off-stump at a ball that would have been called a wide had he not made contact; Andrew Symonds went on to the back foot to defend and nicked behind; and Rob Cunliffe steered the first ball of his next over to gully.

So how did it happen ? "I was trying to find the right length of run- up to protect a back strain. Monte played a long hop, Simmo got a good one and Rob's bounced a bit and he pushed it to Harden.

"I've been on a hat-trick a few times, twice against Lancashire but this is my first. They came out firing, six an over, and we were lucky things went our way."

In fact, it was all over at 3.45pm and the vital statistic is "27.4 overs to spare." Another abject performance like this and their captain, Courtney Walsh, might reject the new Gloucestershire contract on offer, preferring to find a softer berth to rest the old bones of a great fast bowler.

He has to take some of the responsibility. The pitch was green and grassy. He won the toss and had he opted to field, himself taking the new ball, he would have given the Somerset dressing-room a few collywobbles. Caddick declared it "a good track"; the bounce was even but the seamers did have some help and there was turn from the old Pavilion End, hence David Allen's nod to the Off-Spinners' Union by nominating Harvey Trump man of the match.

Gloucestershire's innings was a disaster; Graham Rose's breakbacks reduced them to 17 for 2 in four overs; then came Caddick's hat-trick, only Cunliffe, seven fours in 37 balls, staying long enough to make an impact.

Somerset were batting immediately after lunch, and although Jon Lewis caused a flutter when he dismissed Peter Bowler and Richard Harden with successive balls, all Walsh could do was delay the inevitable by using himself and Mike Smith, the two most penetrative bowlers, in short bursts. In fairness to Walsh, he was in bed with flu last Saturday and might not have been at his best.