Cricket: Caddick claims nine as Lancashire tumble: Somerset fast bowler stakes England claim

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The Independent Online
Somerset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195 and 114

Lancashire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .222 and 72

Somerset win by 15 runs

A REMARKABLE week for Lancashire ended with a 15-run defeat by Somerset at Taunton last night.

A quite extraordinary day's play, which saw 26 wickets topple for only 266 runs, ended with Andrew Caddick, England's new fast bowling hope, taking a career-best 9 for 32 (the best analysis in this country since Derek Underwood produced identical figures for Kent against Surrey in 1978) as Lancashire, who needed only 88, fell for 72. Somerset's victory, their second successive Championship success, came well inside two days.

Under normal circumstances Harry Brind, the Test and County Cricket Board's pitch inspector, would have caught the first train from Paddington this morning, but there was nothing at all wrong with this strip. The ball seamed and swung a little throughout, but the bowlers still had to put the ball in the right place.

Phil DeFreitas, one of England's forgotten men, pointed the way with match figures of 12 for 131 - his best for Lancashire - and Caddick followed his example. The 24-year-old was supported by some superb catching, notably by Richard Harden, and some feeble batting.

'It's the sort of thing that happens once in a blue moon,' Caddick said. 'I didn't honestly think that we would win it but we decided to give it a go, Mushtaq Ahmed tied things up at the other end and things just went nicely for me.'

Lancashire had produced similar dramatics to beat Durham and Surrey earlier in the week but their luck ran out here. Suicidal batting before lunch gave them a first-innings lead of only 27 when a little more application might have won the game.

DeFreitas, who failed to take a first- class wicket in India during the winter, continued his rehabilitation with an intelligent spell on a green-tinged pitch. And although Somerset found batting difficult too, the Dutchman Andre Van Troost's rapid 35 gave them hope.

Gehan Mendis, Nick Speak - leg before to Mushtaq who marked his Championship debut with 4 for 40 - and Mike Atherton went in successive overs as Lancashire lurched from 1 for 4 to 16 for 6 then 39 for 8. Mike Watkinson showed what could be achieved with sensible application but he played on to Caddick when on 39 and the player with the Richard Hadlee action completed the rout by trapping an unhappy Peter Martin leg before with only his 67th ball.

Mark Ramprakash has been called into the England squad for the three Texaco Trophy one-day internationals against Australia, starting at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Ramprakash covers Neil Fairbrother, who is suffering from a hamstring injury.

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