Cricket: Hampshire succumb to Caddick

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Hampshire. .156 and 196

Somerset. .500-6 dec

Somerset won by innings & 148 runs

ANDREW CADDICK took the penultimate step yesterday to justifying the gamble he took three years ago when he sacrificed his Kiwi heritage and became a Pom. He took six Hampshire wickets for 49 runs in the day, giving him figures of 10 for 92 in the match, as Somerset thrashed Hampshire by an innings and 148 runs and earned a day off into the bargain.

Caddick, 24, would do well to make the short trip to Arundel today to watch the Australians as he is almost certain to be lining up against them in the Test series later this summer.

He wrapped up the match with three wickets in four balls late on a day when he carried a weakened Somerset attack. He generated steep bounce, movement and pace, and also used a fierce yorker to devastating effect, dismissing Adrian Aymes and Ian Turner with it in successive balls, then bowling Cardigan Connor.

In the morning he took two wickets for five runs, giving him career-best figures of 6 for 48 as Hampshire's first innings was finished off in under an hour. Then, with Neil Mallender struggling with a groin injury and Adrianus Van Troost absent ill, Somerset sent Hampshire back into the middle 344 runs behind. When they slumped to 26 for 2 the situation was ideal for another England hopeful, David Gower, to perform some headline-winning heroics. But when Hampshire needed an obdurate grind he could only offer a delightful but inadequate cameo.

His third and fifth balls were clipped through mid-on for four, six more runs were stylishly garnered and as lunch loomed the spectators were savouring the prospect of an enriching afternoon. Minutes later they were pondering the short walk to The Dell and Southampton FC as Gower stopped in mid-shot when a short ball lifted on him and Andy Hayhurst gleefully accepted a looping return catch.

It was a frustratingly swift and soft end to 25 minutes that underlined the quality of Gower's batting. Given the chance, he will make runs in the Test series, but that will require an unlikely act of faith from the selectors.

Somerset had begun the day with just 10 men, as Van Troost was suffering from an ear infection that was brought on by sunstroke on Friday - a rare ailment to suffer from at a cricket match in April and one that rules him out of a winter tour. In Sri Lanka he would never have made it to the airport terminal.

Somerset still dislodged Connor before a fielding substitute, provided by prior arrangement by Hampshire, arrived. The other overnight batsman, Mark Nicholas, proved harder to dispatch, finally going for 76.

He repeated his resistance in the second innings, with 47, but only Sean Morris of the top six offered real support, making 37 in 71 overs. Morris had replaced Robin Smith who, sporting an impressive shiner and matching scars from his midweek collision with an advertising board, had a light net.

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