Caddick the catalyst

Lv County Championship
Andy Caddick

Andy Caddick has taken 70 wickets in Somerset's Division Two title-winning campaign

Captain Justin Langer paid tribute to seamer Andy Caddick after Somerset claimed the LV County Championship Division Two title at Chelmsford after beating Essex by six wickets.

The 38-year-old former England bowler has claimed 70 championship victims this season and, although he picked up only two wickets in this latest victory, Langer claimed his overall contribution had been immense.

"He's been absolutely fantastic and a joy to play with," said the Australian.

"Andy has been the catalyst for our success and I cannot understand why he has not been a regular in the England Test side for the last 10 years."

Langer also praised the efforts of coach Andy Hurry, adding: "He's played an enormous part in our success. It cannot be overstated what he has brought to the team.

"The fact that we have won nine matches has been very satisfying. It shows that we have adopted a positive approach and I believe we are capable of challenging for the First Division title next season.

Andy Hurry

Justin Langer also heaped praise on coach Andy Hurry

"In addition to the tremendous experience and class that the likes of Caddick and Marcus Trescothick bring to the side, we also have talented lads like James Hildreth.

"Indeed, I rate him and Essex's Ravinder Bopara as the best young players in the country."

Langer revealed he will be playing a part in Somerset's drive for further honours next summer.

"I haven't put pen to paper yet but I'll definitely be back next season because I am really enjoying my cricket," he said.

The positive approach to which Langer refers was epitomised by Neil Edwards and Peter Trego after Somerset had resumed on the third day on 50 for one in pursuit of a target of 182.

They plundered 40 from the first 15 deliveries of the morning sent down by Andy Bichel and Danish Kaneria, with Trego taking 22 off an over from the Pakistan leg-spinner.

Bichel was to gain some consolation by removing both in successive overs, Trego falling lbw for 44 - made from 30 deliveries - and Edwards departing for 35 from 39 balls, thanks to a brilliant diving catch by Tim Phillips at first slip.

When Langer was stumped off Kaneria for 28, Somerset were still 52 short of their objective but Hildreth and Neil McKenzie knocked off those runs in 11 overs, McKenzie taking them to the title by steering Graham Napier to the third man fence.


The Somerset players enjoy their moment of triumph

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