Somerset travelled to Derby for this 4-day match in June 1995 in buoyant form and looking for a third consecutive win having beaten Yorkshire at Taunton and Surrey at The Oval in previous games.
Derbyshire had a fearsome looking side on paper but headed into this encounter having lost three games in four with the Derby pitch heavily criticised after the previous game, a four wicket loss to Northants. Victorious skipper Allan Lamb complained loudly, despite his team’s win, following a game that was over by tea on day 2 with 23 wickets falling on day 1. It was maybe little surprise then that Somerset captain Andy Hayhurst elected to field first having won the toss.
Derbyshire skipper Kim Barnett fell in the first over c Lathwell b Rose and it looked like same old same old for Derby. Dessaur (28) and Rollins (56) staged a revival but two more wickets fell quickly before the hundred was celebrated and at 99-3 it was even.
But Daryl Cullinan took over and scored his third century of the season sharing a stand of 134 for the 4th wicket with Wells (47). But Somerset chipped away and reduced the home team from 233-3 to 287-7 thanks largely to Mushtaq Ahmed’s four wickets.
Cullinan battled on for a brilliant 161 – hitting 30x4s along the way – before Jason Kerr ended his time at the crease and when Mushy had Devon Malcolm lbw for 1 to claim a fivefer the home team had scored 376 and day 1 was called to a close. Given their strong position at times they would have been disappointed not to pass 400.
If Derbyshire’s innings made a mockery of any criticism of the Derby wicket then Somerset’s 1st innings certainly played up to it. The cider men made a poor start losing Lathwell (12) and former Derbyshire batter Peter Bowler without troubling the scorers and it was 22-2. Trescothick hit 22 but was 3rd man out on 34.
Richard Harden (33), Graham Rose (28) and the ever-reliable Keith Parsons (43) all battled in the middle bit but wickets fell regularly to Derby’s impressive pace attack of Malcolm (3-76), DeFreitas (2-16), Warner (1-44) and Cork (4-40). At 189 all out Somerset were 187 behind and were asked to follow on by Barnett.
The prospect of a win looked highly unlikely; Somerset had only ever won twice before when asked to bat on, but those games were in 1894 and 1905 and on home soil.
With plenty of time still on day 2 Somerset resumed but were in trouble early with Lathwell (8) and Trescothick (0) back in the hutch with 20 on the board. By close of play on day 2 there had been a mini revival with the visitors 123-2 with Bowler 57* and Harden 47* but were still 36 behind Derby.
Bowler had left Derbyshire with a large amount of dislike on both sides and he would not have enjoyed his first innings’ duck. But this appeared to spur him on as he and Harden (63) took the score to 160. When Harden was out Hayhurst came but left the field with a broken hand without scoring with his team 164-3.
Parsons (29) and Rose (11) both helped Bowler out but when he was finally dismissed for an excellent 138, and Mushtaq coming and going quickly, it looked bleak for the away team on 301-7.
But that is when Rob Turner – affectionately known as ‘Nod’ by his team-mates took the game by the horns. Supported by Kerr (13) and Dimond (26) Nod took the score past 400 but he looked to be destined to be stranded in the 90s with the score on 422 with 9 down and an injured captain in the dressing room.
But Hayhurst returned to accompany Turner to his hundred and his final score of 106* passed his previous highest score of 101 in County Championship. Somerset closed on 434, a lead of 247.
Somerset needed to bowl well and did just that, reducing Derbyshire to 28-4 at the close with Tweats 7* and Wells 6*. Rose took 3 of these wickets with Derby still needing 220 to win the game.
Tweats went early on the final day but Wells batted aggressively to try and gain momentum for his team. But when Mushy bowled him for 98 Derbyshire fell to 151-6 with only Barnett left as a recognised batsman. Derby would add only another 17 runs while losing 4 wickets before their innings closed on 168 so Somerset wrapped up a brilliant win by 79 runs.
This was the third and final time (to date) that Somerset would win a game after being asked to follow on.
Derbyshire did not take the defeat well, this being the first time they had lost after enforcing the follow on since 1882 at Hove. Their committee called an emergency meeting immediately after this humiliating defeat.
Somerset ended the season in a credible 9th having finished 11th in 1994. Derbyshire also improved finishing 14th after being second bottom the previous year.
Scorecard for the game here