This week’s Throwback Thursday takes us back 24 years to May 1993 and a match in which both Marcus Trescothick and Mushtaq Ahmed made their Championship debuts for Somerset.
However this game will be forever remembered for the career best figures on 9 for 32 that bowling legend Andy Caddick achieved which helped Somerset pull off an amazing 15 run victory in two days over a Lancashire side bristling with internationals.
Little did anyone who sat down to watch at the start of the first day, a Thursday morning, realize what drama was to follow.
Somerset won the toss and on a well grassed, hard pitch with plenty of pace and bounce, home captain Chris Tavare opted to bat first, a decision he must have doubted when he saw his side slip to 12 for 3.
The man doing the damage was Phillip DeFreitas who took three wickets without conceding a run from his first 10 deliveries, including debutant Trescothick for one.
Only opening partner Mark Lathwell, who survived a chance on 38, before going on to hit 71 along with Nick Folland (26) Caddick (22) and Mushtaq (24) made any real contribution before the hosts were all out for 195, DeFreitas ending with 7 for 76.
In reply by the close of play Somerset had Lancashire 142 for 4.
The following morning Lancashire took the lead and with four wickets remaining looked like taking a healthy lead but good bowling from Mushtaq (4 for 40), Graham Rose (3 for 60) and Caddick, who ended with 3 for 88, ensured that Lancashire were all out for 222- a lead of 27 runs.
When Somerset batted for a second time they fared little better and were quickly 16 for the loss of Trescothick, Lathwell and Tavare.
The wickets continued to tumble to Wasim Akram and DeFreitas who must have thought that Lancashire were home and dry when Somerset were 72 for 9, a lead of just 45 runs.
However the ‘Red Rose’ county hadn’t reckoned on the batting prowess of Andre van Troost as he strode to the wicket to play what was probably his finest innings for Somerset.
Over the course of the next 28 balls the Flying Dutchman, who stood six feet seven inches tall, proceeded to smite 35 runs to take Somerset to 114 all out.
With a target of 88 runs to chase, a decent batting line up and more than two days remaining Lancashire must have thought that they had the game in the bag.
However, Caddick had different ideas. He opened the bowling and with his second ball gave Somerset just the start they needed when he had Gehan Mendis caught at slip by Richard Harden.
Tavare’s gamble to open with Mushtaq at the other end also paid immediate dividends when he had Nick Speak trapped lbw.
Caddick then struck twice in two balls in his next over to see the back of Mike Atherton and Warren Hegg as the scoreboard showed one run for four wickets.
In his third over Caddick struck twice more to remove Graham Lloyd and Neil Fairbrother which saw Lancashire 16 for six and suddenly the home supporters sensed that maybe the game was far from lost and started to dream about a result that half an hour previously had seemed impossible.
Mike Watkinson and Wasim Akram staged a partial recovery but when Caddick held onto a sharp return catch from Wasim and had DeFreitas caught at cover next ball Lancashire were teetering at 39 for 8.
Watkinson continued to resist the Somerset attack and with 49 still needed with only two wickets in hand, the game was still anyone’s.
Watkinson took his total onto 39 when inevitably Caddick, who could do no wrong on the day, bowled him off the inside edge and then trapped Peter Martin lbw and the game was over.
Lancashire were all out for 72 runs in 22.1 overs and Somerset had won by 15 runs.
Caddick had taken nine for 32 from his 11.1 overs, two of which were maidens.
Those who were there sat in stunned silence finding it hard to believe what they had just seen.
Reflecting on the match Caddick said: “For me the hero was Rooster because without his innings we wouldn’t have had a target for them to chase. The other thing I remember was that year they had changed the Dukes ball to one which had 13 strands. That made the seams like ropes to bowl with, which of course meant that they did a lot! The following year they changed the balls again because they had done too much in 1993.”
“Mushtaq also had a great game and to have him keeping up the pressure at the other end was a great help to me. For him to take four in the first innings on a green wicket meant that it was doing a lot as well.
“However we were woeful in the second innings and if it hadn’t been for Rooster’s 35 there was no target.
“It was an amazing game and the ball did what the ball had to do. As far as I was concerned it was one of those amazing days when everything happened just the way that I hoped it would. Everything came off, every edge was caught and it was one of those days when everything stuck.
“It was an amazing game for us to win because Lancashire had a very good side with Atherton, Lloyd, Fairbrother and Hegg as well as Wasim Akram lower in the order. That was a day when everything clicked. It was as simple as that. It all fell my way, apart from Mushtaq getting that one wicket!”
Caddy added: “This was a fantastic game for us to win and my best performance for Somerset. It’s a game I will never forget.
Headshot pictures courtesy of Getty Images