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Jones tons up on compelling day

Chris Jones struck his maiden first-class century before Australia’s bowlers hit back at the end of a thrilling opening day in their tour match against Somerset.

Jones, 22, led an initial home onslaught with the bat alongside Nick Compton, who shook off the disappointment of not being selected for England's warm-up match versus Essex - which begins on Sunday - with an impressive 81 on his 30th birthday.

But after the former was ousted by James Faulkner for 130, Somerset lost a further seven wickets for just 16 runs and were dismissed for 320.

Australia subsequently had to bat for just one over in reply, Shane Watson and Ed Cowan reaching two without loss.

 

Only playing because of an injury to Alviro Petersen, Jones entered the fray quickly as Marcus Trescothick top-edged a pull off James Pattinson straight to fine-leg.

Compton had a point to prove and, from a watchful start, gradually became more positive.

Two balls after lunch, he brought up his fifty off 82 balls with eight fours. Jones also reached the landmark, from 104 deliveries after the pair had brought up their century stand in 30.3 overs.

Michael Clarke rotated his bowlers often, off-spinner Nathan Lyon sending down 23 overs and claiming 1-75 when extracting some turn from the River End.

He gained his reward with the wicket of Compton, who edged to slip - where Clarke took an amazing juggling catch, one-handed, diving to his left.

Jones had quietly gone about his business at the other end and was unbeaten on 96 at tea with Somerset 220 for two.

He reached a memorable milestone in his career by bringing up three figures with a back-foot forcing shot for two off Faulkner - quite a way to celebrate the first-class honours degree in Economics he has just gained from Durham University.

A straight six off Lyon and another pulled off Peter Siddle saw Jones demonstrate the attacking side of his game before he was caught at gully off Faulkner.

James Hildreth had eased to a half-century off 74 balls, but the second new ball transformed the day.

Mitchell Starc bowled Craig Kieswetter with a perfect inswinger and trapped Alex Barrow lbw before Pattinson accounted for Hildreth leg before.

Starc clean bowled Craig Meschede and Pattinson gained another lbw verdict against Peter Trego as the tourists finished a testing day on a high.

Starc completed a fine comeback by pinning last man George Dockrell leg before, ending with figures of 4-33 to complement Pattinson’s 4-56.

Compton is due to play for Worcestershire versus Australia next week to get more first-class practice ahead of his possible involvement in the Investec Ashes, meaning he is set to miss Somerset’s Friends Life t20 game with Gloucestershire Gladiators on July 5.

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