Caddick a lone star in west as Nottinghamshire steam on

Somerset 399 and 220 Notts 460 and 160-3 Nottinghamshire win by 7 wkts
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The Independent Online

Unhappy Somerset fans trudged disconsolately out of the Recreation Ground muttering that the Somerset flag, which was fluttering feebly in the dry breeze at the end of this comprehensive defeat, should have been lowered to half mast.

Unhappy Somerset fans trudged disconsolately out of the Recreation Ground muttering that the Somerset flag, which was fluttering feebly in the dry breeze at the end of this comprehensive defeat, should have been lowered to half mast.

There had been little of the "festival" feel to a match which merely served to emphasise the fact that this was between top and bottom sides in the Championship's Second Division, and Nottinghamshire looked a class above their opponents throughout.

In the past it has been the future of this festival that has been the talking point, but with sponsorship for the annual event secured at least for another year, anxious members' minds have turned to the form and the composition of the present Somerset squad - whether or not to kick out the older professionals and bring in the new - and the fate of the County Ground at Taunton. There are rumours of a £20m re-vamping of the whole of that part of the town, which would leave Somerset groundless for a couple of years.

But on this showing and in the opinion of the West Country faithful, the fact that Somerset may find themselves without a ground in Taunton sometime soon could be an irrelevance, first they have to prove that they have a side that can play there.

On paper they do, but out in the middle too many questions were left unanswered. At least they have some youngsters coming through; if Neil Edwards and James Hildreth continue to improve, the batting should be fine.

But the bowling has to be a worry. Thankfully Andrew Caddick, still smarting at his omission from the Test series against New Zealand, looked to be back to his rhythmical best yesterday.

Any anger he felt was controlled and directed into making life as awkward as possible for Nottinghamshire, who resumed in the morning needing a further 137 runs for victory. He ran in without a break from start to lunch, 15 overs of high-quality pace bowling of a length that provided the batsmen with plenty of food for thought, and frequently had them in two minds.

His reward was a couple of wickets, one at the beginning of the session, when Jason Gallian's push resulted in an edge to Hildreth at third slip; the other another slip catch, this time for Somerset captain Mike Burns.

In between, Nixon McLean had Darren Bicknell caught at forward short leg - Burns again, but this time under the helmet - when the Nottinghamshire left-hander fended off a sharp bouncer. But the attack still lacks penetrative personnel. There are injuries to Richard Johnson and Aaron Laraman, but where is the seam attack of the future?

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