Cricket: Weston leads recovery after Caddick strikes

Derbyshire 314-6 v Somerset
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The Independent Online
NOT FOR the first time recently, Andrew Caddick gave a masterclass in the art of fast-medium bowling yesterday. On its own, though, it was not enough to undermine Derbyshire for whom Robin Weston compiled his third hundred in successive Championship matches, his unbeaten 143 a career best.

Weston, supported by a fluent half-century from Ben Spendlove and then by some old-fashioned North Country husbandry by Karl Krikken, enabled Derbyshire to put a start of 36 for 3 behind them and reach a serviceable total on a pitch vastly different to most seen here.

Shorn of grass and light in colour, it was enough to persuade the home side to play two spinners, but there was probably a vestige of under- surface moisture and on a humid day the new ball did everything Caddick demanded of it except talk.

It moved around. It sometimes bounced awkwardly. Caddick, operating as ever from close to the stumps, exploited the conditions magnificently, so Derbyshire could have done without Adrian Rollins falling leg before padding up. Steve Titchard was then lured into following a beauty which bounced and left him.

At this point the connoisseur settled back to relish the dual between Michael Slater and Caddick. It was not to be. Slater had just started to pick-off anything loose with ominous certainty when he was given out lbw to Matthew Bulbeck. The left-armer was still trying to locate his line. It looked as though this ball must have been close to pitching outside leg stump, could have been swinging down the leg side anyway and Slater's dismayed demeanour also suggested he felt he had hit it; these factors apart you would have to say it was pretty plum.

While Weston was digging in Spendlove did much to wrest the initiative from Somerset with his nerveless approach by treating the bowling on its merits. He made 50 from 64 ball, hitting 11 fours that included a handful of classic off drives, too.

Caddick returned to remove Spendlove and Ian Blackwell, but that was the prelude to a sensible piece of batting by Weston and Krikken. The compact Weston bided his time, but even so could have gone at 32 and 70 when chances went begging in the slips. That apart, he timed the ball well in the arc between mid-on and mid-off and reached 100 from 194 balls with 13 fours.