Somerset v Derbyshire, Taunton, 3rd day September 6, 2013

Chanderpaul keeps cool for priceless win

David Lloyd at Taunton

Derbyshire 298 (Johnson 68, Poynton 57, Chawla 5-111) and 244 for 8 (Chanderpaul 77*, Slater 59, Chawla 5-97) beat Somerset 103 (Groenewald 5-33) and 438 (Compton 95, Hildreth 81) by two wickets

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has seen it all and pretty much done it all during a career spanning more than 20 years. But seldom, if ever, can his efforts have been more gratefully received than they were here by joyous Derbyshire team-mates and a small band of cheering supporters.

Victory for the visitors, by a nerve-tingling two wickets and with Chanderpaul unbeaten on 74, keeps the Great Escape story alive for a county that started life back in Division One with seven defeats and three draws from their first 10 matches.

They are now out of the bottom two - unlike Somerset, who trail by a point, and Surrey, who are a further 15 behind. And while Derbyshire's next match, against title-favourites Durham, could not be tougher, there is a real of air of optimism around their camp.

"It's a tremendous win," head coach Karl Krikken, who bats and bowls every ball from the sidelines, said. "We felt 240 was a big ask on that pitch but a couple of the youngsters stood up and the main guy, Chanderpaul, took us home.

"Shiv has been superb for us this season without much luck, really. But this was a magnificent innings because he shepherded us all the way."

Had Chanderpaul been caught at deep mid-on, as he really should have been, by Craig Meschede off the bowling of Piyush Chawla when on 64 and the winning line was still 21 runs away, the ending to this always absorbing match might have been entirely different. But the two-handed opportunity went to ground and Chanderpaul captain was not about to give another chance.

Typically modest after receiving the congratulations of friend and foe alike, Chanderpaul was quick to point out that victory had been a team effort. "We showed fight all the way through," he said. "We've got two tough games to go, against Durham and Warwickshire, but hopefully we can carry on like this."

Opener Ben Slater, with 59, and budding allrounder Alex Hughes, who contributed 33 precious runs to a sixth-wicket stand of 68 with Chanderpaul, were the two young batsmen referred to by Krikken.

But, as everyone knew when play resumed this morning with Derbyshire on 127 for 4 and 117 runs still needed, almost everything depended on Chanderpaul. He's has had a far from vintage season, by his own high standards, and not won a match for the county while averaging below 40.

Here, though, he was calmness personified, pushing singles into tiny gaps, dealing with the spinning ball like the master craftsman he is and punishing bad balls with ruthless efficiency.

Piyush Chawla, who finished with 5 for 97 and 10 for 208 in the match, might have been the star turn - and probably would have taken the headlines had that catch been held. But really he released pressure far too often with freebie deliveries and was out-bowled by the highly promising left-arm spinner Jack Leach - whatever the scorecard suggests.

Somerset tried most things to disturb Chanderpaul's concentration - even giving wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter a brief go with his offspin, but the Rock would not crumble.

Four wickets fell at the other end, the last of them with 28 still required. And when Chanderpaul started turning down singles to protect Tim Groenewald, the tension level increased by another notch. But no-one would have guessed Derbyshire's main man was in a dog-fight, although the hug he gave his partner when four leg-byes completed the task showed just how much this win meant to him.

The mood in the other camp was entirely different, of course. "We're gutted - mega disappointment, really. It's very tough to take" Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick said. "We gave it a good crack but it is clear where we lost the game."

So where did it all go wrong for the hosts in this match? Where do you want to start?

Given the tightness of the contest, they could look back on the last wicket stand of 42 in Derbyshire's first innings that lifted the lead to 195. Or, indeed, conclude that the 41 byes conceded by Kieswetter - including 22 in the second innings while enduring a nightmare session behind the stumps when Chawla was turning the ball several feet - were crucial.

But really, Somerset left themselves with a mountain to climb by subsiding to 68 for 7 by lunch on the first morning and then being bowled out for 103.

"You can't win games in the first couple of hours but you can go a long way towards losing them," Trescothick admitted. "We got close to pulling it back, and our second innings performance was brilliant, but I think we all appreciate we can't afford a first innings like that."

Surrey at home next week will give Somerset a good chance to bounce back. But of those at the bottom, Derbyshire have most to feel optimistic about right now.

"We are playing some good cricket and there is a lot of belief in the side," Krikken said. "We'll keep fighting and see where we end up."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on September 7, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @Derek Grabham - Well you're certainly more in the loop than me , knowing Craig's babe. I'm certainly not going to say that Jos's motives are financial as I know nothing about him as a person but it would be nice if confirmed he still wanted to be at Somerset if something could be sorted out. Morally , they should keep Craig - he was signed as the wicket keeper whereas Jos was signed as batsmen/back up WK so Craig hasn't changed the goalposts at all. I think Jos has listened to too many people saying he needs to keep regularly to stay in the Eng side. Out of interest do you (and others) think that if Jos was told that if he didn't keep wicket for Somerset then he'd not keep for England but it would not affect his chances of PLAYING for England , he'd be that bothered about keeping? He never seemed to be before. And by the same token if Jos didn't start to reproduce his Somerset batting form in Eng colours do you (and others) think Eng would keep him in the side on his glovework?

  • Dummy4 on September 7, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    @JG2704. It is interesting you say Buttler's commitment to Somerset colours. I have felt the same,too particularly when Compton has signed his contract Ii would expect Buttler to follow suit as well but, yet so fat, he is still in the mercy of other counties, methinks perhaps the financial aspect may come into play on Buttler's part. For talent only, Buttler is miles ahead of Kieswetter but for commitment, I will expect Kieswetter to stay loyal as I know his girlfriend is a relative of my best friend. I wonder the role of Nosworthy is valid. Look t the talent we have, Hildreth, Trego, Compton, Buttler, Kieswetter, Thomas, Trescothick,it is a like a Test line up!!!

  • John on September 7, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    @Derek Grabhamon (September 7, 2013, 12:20 GMT) Re Jos/Craig - it seems to have opinions split. I have to be honest I'm slightly inclined to keep Craig if push comes to shove. If Jos is not released for the YB40 semi on Monday then I'd almost definitely say to keep Craig , because if Eng can be that unflexible when Somerset most need their star players then we're always at their mercy. This will also sound harsh (esp from an armchair fan) but I'm starting to think Jos's passion for Somerset isn't what it was. When Colville asked him about being in Somerset colours next season (think it was at a T20 game) he said something like "We'll see". I know he can't commit but it would have been nice if he said "I hope so"

  • John on September 7, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    @Derek Grabham - I'm not as in touch with the behind the scenes issues so I'll bow to your knowledge on that one. What I will say is that I'd say our batting has been a bigger issue this year and I wonder (but hope not) if Tres has come to the end of the road as a force in the 4 day game - not sure if he has concentration or eyesight issues? Re the overseas signing(s) - I wonder how easy it is to get a top quality player who is almost guaranteed not to be recalled by his country. In T20s we had the debacles with Gayle and Faff last year and this year we've had AP recalled for a short time by SA and Rehman recalled by Pak. I'm not sure how it all works but it would (not sure how possible this is) if Somerset could totally ensure that there are no surprise call ups to the national side while at the same time tot skimping too much on quality - a la Elgar.

  • Dummy4 on September 7, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    2014 Somerset season plans are:-

    1) Make Hildreth as four day captain, Thomas one dy captain. 2) Reinstate Brian Rose as dirctor of cricket. 3) Ask Justin Langer to become the motivional leader, byebye Andy Hurry. 4) Find top quality bowlers that 20 wickets EVERY game. 5) Look for an Overseas player who is available for EVERY ame. 6) Let Buttler go and make Kiesy as permement keeper for all formats.

    Any more suggetions for next season tips for SOMERSET CCC? So much talent in our team, yt so many poor perormances from most players. Come on Somerset, do something about it!!!

  • Mike on September 7, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @Paul you were clearly at the ground, as was I - I agree the Meschede chance was pretty sharp. The irony of Chanderpaul, having lost us the championship three years ago, picking a match against Somerset to finally work out the tactical requirements of batting with the tail after twenty years was not lost on me either. @Graham I hadn't come across that comment of Marcus' before, but if he did say that he was out of order. What a lot of the English commentors on Cricinfo seem to be Somerset supporters.

  • Paul on September 7, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    @JG2704: Leach was brilliant, Chawla a liability. Leach was careful and accurate; Chawla was hurtling into the crease and spraying the ball around.

    If that sounds unfair, look at the figures. In the first innings Chawla went for 4.26 runs per over on this supposed spinners' paradise, Leach just 2.27 runs per over.In the second innings, when every run was vital, both bowled 29 overs: Chawla went for 97 runs, but Leach just 54. And that doesn't include all the byes conceded as much via Chawla's inaccuracy as Kieswetter's lack of anticipation. One horror over in which about 10 byes were conceded even featured a no ball, of which Chawla conceded 3 in total in the match.

    Somerset have 3 spinners who all turn the ball the same way (Leach, Dockrell & Waller), so why sign another in Chawla? So far it just looks like Nosworthy doing a favour for an old acquaintance from his time with King's XI Punjab, much like his disastrous signing of Elgar looked like a favour to a fellow South African

  • John on September 7, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    @Supersax - Personally , I think Buttler will be allowed to play for Somerset as it is the day AFTER an England game and there is then a rest day before Jos is on England duty before the 3rd ODI. It will be interesting to see what happens re Carberry as (if he played today) he'd have to then travel to Manchester for tomorrow's game. In Jos's case the 3rd ODI is at Birmingham so it's also not so far to travel. I'd like Eng (for once) to do the morally right thing by the counties and let Carberry play for Hants today and let him have the day off tomorrow. They don't need him for all the ODIs and he could still play the last one. They should really have taken a look at him at the Rosebowl in the T20s but that would be looking after the local fans a bit too much. Eng have done much to make life harder for Somerset this season.If they don't allow Jos to play vs Notts then I hope Aus whack them in the ODI series. I'd also say that it lends to the argument for Craig over Jos

  • John on September 6, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    @markatnotts - They're not mathematically safe but I think they need too many things to go for the bottom 3 sides and against Notts. Derbyshire themselves have to play leaders Durham and Warwicks and would need to win at least one of those 2 (maybe both) and I'd say Somerset would need to win both their games and Surrey 2 of their 3.

    @Glyn Jones- I said at the time , would that decision be rued but TBH I thought it would be at the top end of the table. For me that was worse than any Somerset defeat inc the Sussex debacle. You know what - I'm starting to wonder if the decision was England influenced - wanting to see more of Compton? I strongly disagreed with the decision as it was but even in the 2nd inns - for much of it they played with little urgency and the weather was much better for the final day than what the forecasters gave it ... I don't think I've ever been so annoyed by anything Somerset have done

  • John on September 6, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    @Paul_Somerset -Thanks (genuinely) for your views on the match. I'm guessing you agree with the writer's view that Chawla was nothing special. Was it a case of him reaping the rewards for the work Leach did at the other end? I will have to say in Chawla's defence that if Somerset stay up , his ton vs Middx may be a pivotal moment Another interesting point is your use of the C word (as in concentration). Tres has made several 50s but not once gone on to make 100 this season and Hildreth usually gets into double figures but has not often gone on to make even 50 let alone 100

    @Graham Turner - Never been to the Bath cricket ground but remember watching Somerset at WSM in the 80s. Yes it seems a shame that these grounds aren't used any more. Not sure if any malice was meant by the Bath comment

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