Compton reaches landmark at New Road
Somerset batsman Nick Compton was given more reason to curse the weather when he completed his delayed passage to 1,000 first-class runs with a century against Worcestershire in the LV= County Championship Division One match at New Road.
Denied by rain yesterday when on the brink of joining an elite band of eight cricketers who made 1,000 by the end of May, he took the next best option by crossing the threshold on the first day of June.
Leapfrogging Kent’s Rob Key, who got there on June 2 in 2004, he thus became the earliest to reach this milestone in 24 years since Worcestershire’s Graeme Hick posted 1,000 on May 28 1988.
For Compton, a journey spanning exactly two months began with 236 against Cardiff MCCU on a club ground at Taunton Vale and brought another double-hundred against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in April.
On two other visits to the Midlands he made 133 versus Warwickshire at Edgbaston and now 108 - with 13 fours from 226 balls - in just over five hours at Worcester.
Compton’s achievement dominated all else in steadying Somerset after they had they had slipped to 86 for four on losing James Hildreth, for 52, and Craig Kieswetter in successive balls from Jack Shantry.
Worcestershire’s total of 340 was a long way off at that point but a fifth-wicket partnership of 167 in 44 overs with Jos Buttler lifted them to 277 for seven - still 63 behind - when bad light ended play at 5.15pm.
Compton started the third day on nine not out and, with a further 50 required for his 1,000, the situation prompted an ultra-conservative approach.
Adding only eight runs in a shortened 85-minute morning session, he was stuck on 17 through 10 overs before Buttler’s attacking instinct rubbed off on him.
Eight fours, including three in an over from Shantry, took him to his immediate target. A pumped fist and an audible cry of “yes” was as far as his celebrations went before concentration levels were re-set.
Buttler’s urgency made him an ideal partner in raising the tempo. Having cruised to his second championship fifty in an injury-interrupted campaign, he got to 85 with 14 fours and a six before he was caught at deep mid-wicket off Moeen Ali.
When Worcestershire took the new ball at 268, Shantry struck twice in seven deliveries. The dismissal of Peter Trego may have been more due to Matt Pardoe’s reaction in holding a sharp chance at extra-cover but the left-arm paceman won a major victory in knocking back Compton’s off stump four balls before the early close.