Cricket: Cork burst not enough for Derbyshire

DEREK HODGSON reports from Taunton Derbyshire 524 and 322-6 dec Somerset 464 and 296-8 Match drawn
Click to follow
Dominic Cork, unabashed by seeing his picture on the front of a tabloid, took three wickets for 19 runs in 28 balls, including Shane Lee, to give Derbyshire a whiff of what might have been a famous victory. On a golden afternoon made tense by news of rivals' victories, they had set Somerset to score 383 in 78 overs and finished tantalisingly short of bowling them out.

Given Cork's impetus, they pounded away into the evening and on any pitch that offered a modicum of help to the bowlers on the fourth day, they must have won. It was their bad luck to meet, in this vital fixture, a Somerset team led by Peter Bowler, who departed the Racecourse in some acrimony two years ago, and a playing staff nine of whom are awaiting contract offers.

The rate set Somerset was a fraction under five an over, and at lunch, after 12 overs, they had reached 59 for the loss of Marcus Trescothick, who must have misjudged the line. The loss of Mark Lathwell, reaching, to a slip catch soon afterwards brought the arrival not of Lee but of Richard Harden, hinting that Bowler was not seeking death or glory.

After reaching 100 in 21 overs, the rate dropped to three in 10, the monotony then being broken by Cork's spell. Bowler had to be prised out by a superb leg-side stumping by Karl Krikken, which left Rob Turner and Jason Kerr to hold the fort, Turner hanging on until seven overs were left. Kerr was missed, off Devon Malcolm, when 38.

Dean Jones enjoyed a lead of 281 when Derbyshire had resumed under the first clear skies of the match. He and Kim Barnett added 45 in seven overs, taking 12 off Andrew Caddick's first, before Barnett drove hard and low and Caddick took a swooping return catch. Barnett's 141 was made off 196 balls. An hour's batting brought another 101 runs and the declaration.

As Somerset were starting their chase, Caddick was explaining the background to a rumour that he was leaving, with Surrey, Sussex and Glamorgan being mentioned. Somerset's chief executive, Peter Anderson, pointed out that Caddick was under contract for two more years "and we have no plans to release him". Caddick commented: "I am trying to renegotiate the best deal for myself."