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Compton back with a bang

Somerset CCC

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Nick Compton marked his return to action with a timely century as Somerset tightened their grip on the LV=County Championship clash with Worcestershire at Taunton.

The leading run-maker in first-class cricket this summer, making his comeback following a spell on the sidelines with a back problem, struck an unbeaten 114 in a Somerset total of 451 for seven, which also featured 146 from captain Marcus Trescothick.

That gave the hosts a lead of 239 with two days to go and took Compton's first class run-tally for the season to 1,453 at an average of 96.86.

Somerset began the day on 142 without loss in reply to 212 and soon lost Arul Suppiah, who was caught and bowled by Moeen Ali off a checked drive, having added only two to his overnight 73.

Nick Compton

Nick Compton enjoyed a successful return from injury, striking 114 not out to put Somerset in command against Worcestershire at Taunton

Trescothick had resumed on 66 and after surviving some scares against Alan Richardson, who bowled beautifully without luck before lunch, moved to his century off 187 balls with 13 fours.

Lunch was taken at 227 for one and the pitch inspector who had stayed on after Abdur Rehman's nine-wicket opening-day haul, was able to abandon any thought that the wicket was unduly spinner-friendly.

Trescothick and Compton had taken the total to 307 when the Somerset skipper edged to second slip to at last give 37-year-old Richardson some reward for his efforts.

The former England opener's innings had spanned 260 balls and, while not one of his most fluent, was hugely important for his team as they chase runners-up spot in the championship for only the third time in their history, having never won it.

Richardson continued to bowl with great heart and gained thoroughly deserved lbw verdicts against James Hildreth and Chris Jones on his way to figures of 3-65 from 35 overs.

Compton had moments of fortune, but again displayed his powers of concentration in moving to his 16th first-class hundred off 248 deliveries, with nine fours and a straight six off Moeen.

With Somerset already 131 ahead when he walked to the crease, Peter Trego was able to enjoy himself with a rapid 45 off as many balls before he was bowled by a slower ball from Chris Russell.

Craig Overton and Steve Snell fell cheaply to Moeen. But there was no disturbing Compton, who has now scored 239 more first-class runs than his nearest challenger in the national averages, Hildreth, despite playing in three fewer matches than his Somerset team-mate.

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