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Compton steers Somerset to victory

Nick Compton’s half-century guided Somerset to a four-wicket victory in a tense finish to the LV= County Championship match against fellow strugglers Derbyshire at Derby.

Although Jonathan Clare took 5-29 in eight overs, Compton led the way as Somerset reached their target of 145 to celebrate a first championship victory of the season.

Steve Kirby had earlier taken 4-18 and Craig Meschede 3-17 as Derbyshire, who remain at the foot of Division One, lost their last eight wickets for 56 to be bowled out for 94.

They had gone into the fourth day strongly placed with a lead of 86 and eight wickets intact but only two more runs had been added when Somerset got the big wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who dabbed Alfonso Thomas into the hands of third slip.

It was a poor stroke by the experienced West Indies batsman, yet there was plenty of seam and swing movement to make life difficult for the batsmen and Meschede blew away the middle order with a burst of 3-4 in 12 balls.

Billy Godleman was caught behind as he pushed forward, Ben Slater was bowled first ball and Richard Johnson gave Alex Barrow another catch to leave Derbyshire in deep trouble at 54 for six.

The next blow was self-inflicted as Clare wandered down the pitch and was run out by Jamie Overton's direct hit from mid-on; however, former Somerset batsman Wes Durston and Tony Palladino gave Derbyshire hope by nudging the lead towards 150.

They added 26 in nine overs, but the introduction of Kirby at the City End saw the last three wickets fall for just four runs.

Palladino edged to second slip, Tim Groenewald could only fend a lifting ball to first and, after Durston carved Overton over the cordon for four, he was bowled going for a big drive.

It had been an impressive morning's work by the Somerset seamers but their batsmen knew the target would not be a formality in difficult conditions.

Derbyshire needed to strike early to spark panic in the visiting camp yet Marcus Trescothick and Compton reduced the target by 30 in five overs before lunch, with the latter pulling Mark Footitt for six.

The pair took their stand to 60 before Trescothick got a leading edge off Clare to cover and, although Compton was looking increasingly assured, it was a different story at the other end.

Dean Elgar flashed at Clare and was caught at first slip, James Hildreth offered no shot and was lbw for three and Craig Kieswetter was caught behind to leave Somerset wobbling on 102 for four.

When Compton edged a big drive at Clare to first slip seven runs later, Derbyshire sensed they could still pull off an unlikely victory.

However, Peter Trego settled Somerset's nerves with some aggressive strokes to carry his side home.

Somerset took a vital 20 points to ease their relegation worries, while Derbyshire collected just five.

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