Cricket: Somerset bowled over by Bowler

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Somerset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .299-5 dec

Derbyshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301-4

Derbyshire win by 6 wickets

SOMERSET suffered a defeat here of the drilled, bored and countersunk variety, Peter Bowler and John Morris making a mockery of Chris Tavare's declaration with a partnership of 259 in 43 overs. The contest, if you can call it that, was wrapped up 20 minutes after tea when Bowler's 24th boundary saw Derbyshire to victory with 32 overs to spare.

The target of 300 always looked vulnerable, and it became little more than a doddle thanks to large helpings of poor bowling. Upon this, Bowler and Morris feasted to produce the third-highest second- wicket stand in Derbyshire history.

Two-day cricket would no doubt get the nod from Derbyshire if all hosts were as hospitable as this. Wet Friday had been followed by Tavare deciding to bat on a green wicket, a dodgy prospect. Richard Harden was still in occupation yesterday to demonstrate that the pitch was no longer spiteful.

Harden went on to make an unbeaten 166, a career best, Tavare calling his man in before midday and happy to see the back of Andy Brown for a duck as Derbyshire went one down for four in the third over. The bad news was that the Somerset attack went for 75 runs in the 15 overs leading up to lunch as Bowler and Morris settled in.

That was just for starters, the 100 partnership reached in 19 overs, the 200 in 35 and the 250 in 44. Somerset wilted under the onslaught. Even when three wickets went down for as many runs around tea, there was never a glimmer of hope.

Morris loves it here, of course, having now scored six centuries - four of them in the Championship - out of seven visits to the County Ground wicket in a run that began in 1987. He was eventually removed by Richard Snell for 109 having faced 124 balls and struck a dozen fours and two sixes. As for Bowler, unbeaten on 147, this was his fourth century of a summer in which Derbyshire have so far secured three wins.

Red faces? Well, there were several to choose from in the Somerset bowling ranks - only two maidens sent down in what became an innings-a-side match - and the reddest of all belonged to Adrianus van Troost, whose nine overs went for 77 runs.