Cricket: Dean makes most of a mess

Derbyshire 290 & 139 Somerset 181 & 176 Derbyshire won by 72 runs
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The Independent Online
IN A bizarre game that could not stretch as far as lunchtime on the third day, in spite of being played on a flat and blameless wicket, the seam bowlers of both teams took advantage of batting that in many cases would have disgraced an inter-departmental social match. The blade was hurled at the ball as if there was no tomorrow - which there isn't, as far as spectators are concerned.

Of the 786 carefree runs scored in the game, 508 came in boundaries, some of them from conventional shots, but just as many from snicks and slogs. In the end, Derbyshire's first innings 290 proved decisive, and they achieved their fifth Championship win of the season by 72 runs.

While Dominic Cork provided the raw pace, too often happy to bounce the ball in his half of the track, Kevin Dean provided the subtlety and swing. As a betting-shop manager in the winter, he would have given long odds against achieving his career-best figures in the first innings and again in the second, for a match haul of 12 for 133. He is a left-armer, short of true pace, but gives a slippery slant to the ball that invites rash strokes. He has now taken 64 first-class wickets this season.

For Somerset, Andy Caddick confirmed that, when focused, he is a very quick bowler of the highest quality and is unafraid of hard work. If he is not on the plane for Australia in November, it will be his temperament rather than his skill that counts against him. Graham Rose was as reliable as ever, while Matt Bullbeck, another brisk left-armer, is a youngster of great promise.

Yesterday, only Marcus Trescothick looked to have the spirit to nurse Somerset towards distant victory but, like most of the batters in this game, he eventually succumbed to a silly swish. By lunchtime, naughty- boy practice nets had been erected on the outfield.