Compton and Kieswetter boost Somerset

Lv County Championship

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Nick Compton and Craig Kieswetter batted Somerset into a strong position on the second day of the LV= County Championship match with Middlesex at Taunton.

The home side had been reduced to 103 for three in reply to 246 when the pair came together. By the close they had added 99, with Compton unbeaten on 58 and Kieswetter 50 not out. At 202 for three Somerset were in control of the game.

Earlier, Vernon Philander had finished with figures of 5-43 from 20 overs as Middlesex lost their last six wickets for 128 runs. Joe Denly hit 73 and Tim Murtagh 45, while George Dockrell claimed 2-35.

Somerset looked set to make light work of gaining a first-innings lead when Arul Suppiah and Marcus Trescothick put together an opening stand of 55.

Nick Compton

Nick Compton, pictured, and Craig Kieswetter made unbeaten fifties to close on Middlesex with seven first-innings wickets left

But Suppiah was then caught behind off Gareth Berg for 35 and Ollie Rayner had Trescothick held at slip for 47 in his first over. When James Hildreth was yorked by Berg for a single, Middlesex were well in the game.

But they missed a key chance in failing to run out Kieswetter on six when he found himself at the same end as partner Compton after hitting a ball to cover. Denly’s throw missed the stumps before wicketkeeper John Simpson could get to them and Kieswetter somehow recovered his ground.

The England one-day keeper went on to reach his half-century off 90 balls, with eight fours, while the solid Compton got to the same landmark soon afterwards, having faced 135 deliveries and hit 10 fours.

Middlesex had begun the day on 118 for four after just 36 overs were possible yesterday. In only the fourth over they lost Denly, who had added nine to his score until getting an inside edge on to his pad off Steve Kirby. The ball looped back down the pitch for the bowler to take a diving catch.

Soon it was 150 for seven as Philander pinned Berg lbw on the back foot and had Simpson taken at backward square-leg by Dockrell.

Murtagh and Rayner then added 43 before the latter fell lbw to Dockrell pushing forward. Murtagh’s important contribution featured nine fours and ended when he slipped while backing-up as Toby Roland-Jones played the ball into the covers and Murtagh failed to beat Compton’s direct hit at the bowler’s end.

Dockrell extracted some turn from the River End and ended the innings by dismissing Corey Collymore leg-before.

But Philander was the stand-out bowler for Somerset and the South African looks like giving England plenty of trouble later this summer.

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