Caddick's revival test

Worcestershire 303 and 186-4 Somerset 343
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The Independent Online
With Van the Man not far from these parts last week, it was not surprising to find caravans on the move yesterday. The weather brings them out like flies. One caravan yet to move far this summer, though, is Graeme Hick's. His six Championship innings have produced just 91 runs, leaving one of the glories of the county game a forlorn figure deserted by his natural talent. Even on a track as flat as this soporific New Road pitch, he is no longer a bully - but beleaguered.

One thing about those caravans, trawling across the Cotswolds behind them was the perfect preparation for yesterday's cricket. Patience was imperative, with long periods when movement was at a premium. Andy Caddick caught the mood of the morning when, after hitting his first ball for a sumptuous four, he spent 37 and 20 minutes between his second and third scoring shots.

Rob Turner, batting 10 minutes under four hours for his unbeaten 83, helped Somerset eke out 87 runs from their last two wickets in the morning session. But he took the best part of an hour over the 13 runs he needed to reach 50, flattering a Worcestershire attack missing Phil Newport (pulled leg muscle).

Caddick's wicket earned David Leatherdale applause for career-best bowling figures, but Caddick's own bowling was of greater interest on the eve of the England team announcement. He gave away little, using his height and changes of pace to compensate for the pitch's shortcomings. Tim Curtis nibbled needlessly at him, and Hick, after three boundaries in one Kevin Shine over, was cramped into crab- like foot faults.

A confident first-ball call for lbw welcomed Ruben Spiring to the crease but, unlike Hick, the fates are not conspiring against him. He and Philip Weston saw Caddick take his sunhat and dealt capably and confidently with Mushtaq Ahmed's fizzers to add 89. Caddick, however, was too fired up for Weston later in the day, and with the left- hander's exit (55 off 153 balls) this game, rather like those caravans, looks like going down the M5.