ON THE principle of horses for courses Somerset were always favourites. This may be Nottinghamshire's headquarters but the match was played on the Test pitch, a strip much frequented by Mark Lathwell and Andrew Caddick over the past six days. Neither, though, played a crucial role in this NatWest win as Somerset unveiled another talent, Keith Parsons, 20, a right-hander from Taunton who plays as refreshingly as Lathwell.
The margin was somewhat deceptive for Parsons and Chris Tavare had taken Somerset to within 20 runs of victory when the surface had another tremor; after adding 69 in 20 overs they departed in successive overs at 184 and 185, Graham Rose was bowled at 195 and Neil Burns at 199, Mushtaq Ahmed being dropped behind at the same score.
Misgivings about the durability of the pitch meant that whoever won the toss would bat. Nottinghamshire revised their order with a quick burst of fire in mind, Derek Randall taking strike. All went well until the seventh over, when Randall went to glance Neil Mallender and was picked up backward of square. Caddick found an extra yard in the next over to surprise Paul Pollard. Paul Johnson snicked Caddick over slips three overs later and had another wicket fallen then Somerset might have rolled home early.
Robinson anchored one end for 35 overs and with Johnson settling into his aggressive bustle the innings regained equilibrium until Adrian van Troost dismissed Johnson with one that lifted. The meat of the innings followed. Robinson and Chris Cairns added 97 in the next 25 overs. Cairns's 71 off 101 balls, included a six off Mushtaq. It was Mushtaq's misfortune that he spent his entire stint bowling at these two; it was Cairns's good luck that he survived a run-out on 38.
Robinson and Cairns fell trying to force the pace and their departure opened the door and the last six wickets were swept away for 41 runs in 14 overs.
So how would Somerset fare? Lathwell was cautious, Nick Folland uninhibited. When Lathwell was caught behind in Andy Pick's first over Folland had contributed 22 to the opening stand of 36 and that was Nottinghamshire's last success until Lewis bounded in after tea to win two lbw decisions and leave Tavare with his lifetime's career, picking up the pieces.Reuse content