Marcus: Woeful batting cost us
By Western Daily Press | Saturday, September 07, 2013, 05:00
Somerset's Piyush Chawla bowling to Alex Hughes on the final day against Derbyshire Picture: Fran Stothard
Marcus Trescothick lamented Somerset's "woeful" first-innings 103 all out as they went down by two wickets to Derbyshire in one of county cricket's matches of the season at Taunton.
As a result of their defeat in a tense and enthralling match, Somerset have slipped into the LV= County Championship Division One relegation zone with two matches to play. Their conquerors moved one point and one place above them as a result of their victory.
Derbyshire were indebted to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who proved his class to move from an overnight 20 not out to an unbeaten 74 – keeping his cool even as he lost four partners before lunch on day four.
Many Somerset supporters have still not forgotten or forgiven the way in which Chanderpaul – then with Lancashire – crumbled under pressure on the final day of the 2010 season. That day, he was dismissed for a duck by Andre Adams to seal the County Championship title for Nottinghamshire, after Somerset had thought they had done enough to seal a maiden title.
The irony was not lost on those same supporters as the West Indian showed an abundance of discipline to give Somerset a headache at the wrong end of the table.
The only loose shot of note played by the 39-year-old came with Derbyshire needing a further 21 runs for victory, when he drove Piyush Chawla to mid-on, where he was put down by a diving Craig Meschede. The 21-year-old lay prone on the ground for a good few seconds as the reality of what had happened sunk in.
But Trescothick defended his young all-rounder as he acknowledged that Somerset lost not because of one dropped catch, but because of their first-innings frailties, when only the captain and Chawla reached double figures.
"The damage was done – 103 all out was woeful, really, and that's where the game was lost for us," said Trescothick. "Craig is pretty upset, as you can imagine.
"It was an opportunity – and what would have happened after that, we don't know.
"It was a half-chance and he's got a good piece of it, so it wasn't as if it was a dolly or anything, but you've got to take those on the chin as part of the game. As a professional sportsman, you have your ups and downs, and sometimes you feel that you've cost the team the game – but it was pretty clear it wasn't that."
Derbyshire had resumed on 127-4, needing another 117 runs for victory, and lost Richard Johnson for a duck to the ninth ball of the day. Derbyshire, who had been 127-3 late on day three, fell to 127-5 as Johnson got an outside edge to a slow leg-break from Chawla and was caught behind.
In their attempts to claim the final five wickets they required, Somerset briefly turned to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. He handed Alex Barrow the pads and gloves, and took the ball, sending down three wicketless overs of off-spin for 14 runs.
"We just wanted to try something totally random," said Trescothick. "He bowls off-spin, and trying to get the ball spinning away was what was showing to be quite productive. We gave him a crack and tried something left-field and it didn't come off today."
Kieswetter's arrival in the attack came at the expense of Chawla – but it was Jack Leach who was proving Somerset's most threatening spinner before lunch.
The local 22-year-old bowled 24 dot balls in a row, and, with the 25th, had Alex Hughes lbw for 33 to a good length ball that went straight on. That broke a 68-run stand which had frustrated Somerset, before Tom Poynton tried to swing a half-tracker from Chawla to the leg side, completely missed it, and was given lbw for 7.
At that stage, with seven wickets down, Derbyshire still needed 38 for victory – and their task became trickier when David Wainwright advanced down the wicket to Chawla and was stumped by Kieswetter, who had returned to his day job.
Leach had a couple of vociferous appeals turned down – one against Chanderpaul, one against Tim Groeneward – before Meschede was unable to hold onto Chanderpaul as he dived to his right at mid-on.
Lunch was taken 15 minutes late, with Derbyshire eight down and requiring only six more runs for victory. And, although Somerset took the new ball and tried both Alfonso Thomas and Lewis Gregory, Chanderpaul and Groenewald (6 not out) exchanged singles, before four leg byes to the fine leg boundary saw Derbyshire home off the 14th ball after lunch.
Chawla finished with figures of 5-97 for the innings and 10-208 for the match – but as Trescothick said; "You've got your overseas player taking 10 wickets, which is exactly what you pay him to do, but he didn't have enough runs to bowl at either time, so that makes it pretty tough.
"But we did fight back hard – we worked ourselves back into the game and gave ourselves a great chance of winning the game.
"We were very, very close to coming out on top, but it's a lesson to learn."