Cricket: Drama over in a flash

Somerset 199 and 405 Surrey 558-9 dec and 49-3 Surrey win by 7 wickets
Click to follow
THE STORM clouds gathered and the lightning flashed in the distance as Surrey started their second innings needing 47 runs to win off only five overs. A pulsating finale to an absorbing cricket match and it was made more dramatic by Mark Butcher being run out in the first over, bowled by Andy Caddick.

Then Ben Hollioake smashed his first ball, and the first ball bowled by Jason Kerr, high over midwicket for six. Three deliveries later he was following his captain back to the pavilion as the victim of another run-out: 11 for 2 off 10 balls.

Jason Ratcliffe joined Ally Brown, nudged a single and then Brown launched the unfortunate Kerr for another maximum to end the over: 18 for 2 off two. But Caddick is a trickier proposition altogether, although a no-ball would not have amused his team-mates.

However, the batsmen had nothing to lose and with five lights shining on the board and increasingly frequent forked lightning providing a dramatic backdrop, Ratcliffe clouted Caddick over long-off for six.

This left Surrey needing 18 runs off two overs, and some sensible batting and an edged drive which raced through the slip cordon for four reduced this four-day contest to eight needed off the last over.

A leg-bye off the first delivery from Caddick was followed by four through extra cover, seemingly giving Surrey the game, but a perfect yorker ended Ratcliffe's whirlwind innings of 22.

Three balls left, three runs needed and the scampering Brown is warned by Caddick for taking a flyer of about 10 yards. Controversy beckoned as he was warned again next ball and, when it was finally bowled, Surrey ran a bye. A clip through the in-field secured the win with one ball left and brought this amazing game to a close.

Somerset will rue their dismal first innings but at least they showed true fighting quality to take this game to such a dramatic conclusion, and in fact for parts of the last day they looked like they had salvaged an improbable draw.

Keith Parsons and Robert Turner showed the broadest of bats to frustrate a lacklustre Surrey bowling attack but Somerset were hampered by Peter Bowler's bad back, restricting him to batting at number nine.

Even then he remained undefeated for 135 minutes and, after a disappointing day, the leg-spinner Ian Salisbury will be relieved to have turned a googly past the left-handed Matt Bulbeck to bowl him.