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Compton back in the groove

Nick Compton enjoyed a timely return to form with a patient century for Somerset on day one of the LV= County Championship match against Durham at Taunton.

Back on the county circuit following two disappointing outings for England in the Investec Tests with New Zealand, the 29-year-old opener compiled 139 not out to underpin a home total of 336 for five in perfect batting conditions.

Marcus Trescothick, Arul Suppiah, Dean Elgar and James Hildreth all fell in the thirties, yet Compton demonstrated his staying power and blossomed in the afternoon session after a sketchy start had seen him muster only 23 runs prior to lunch.

He was given one life on 53 when Paul Collingwood dropped a sharp catch at slip off young spinner Ryan Buckley.

By then the shackles seemed to have been removed. Compton brought up his half-century off 129 balls with successive boundaries off Buckley and used up only 74 further deliveries in reaching three figures.

A mis-field by Mark Stoneman at mid-off brought Compton his 12th four and the coveted hundred, greeted with a hug from partner Hildreth, pictured left, and warm applause from Somerset supporters.

They had good cause to be grateful as none of the other home batsmen could match Compton's powers of concentration.

Trescothick breezed to 36 before driving at a very wide ball from Graham Onions and edging a catch to second slip.

It was 82 for one at lunch and 50 more had been added when the accurate Onions struck again, bowling Suppiah for 36.

Tea was taken at 212 for three and straight after the interval Elgar aimed a wild slog at Will Smith to surrender his wicket.

When Hildreth also moved sweetly into the thirties only to fall lbw playing a across a full ball from Buckley, Somerset were in danger of failing to capitalise on an excellent batting deck.

Alex Barrow looked confident enough in moving to 25, but he fell victim to the second new ball when Mark Wood rearranged his stumps.

Peter Trego kept Compton company until the close, but Durham could feel they had stuck to their task well in the soaring temperatures.

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