Compton denies former employers
Somerset’s Nick Compton held firm for four-and-a-half hours at Lord’s to prevent his former county Middlesex from assuming top spot in LV= County Championship Division One.
Needing 191 to avoid an innings defeat, Somerset had reached 227 for seven when the two teams shook hands on a draw at 6:05pm.
With rain delaying the start by 75 minutes, Middlesex turned down the chance of securing maximum batting points in favour of having another crack at Somerset with the ball.
The visitors began shakily as Arul Suppiah edged the first delivery of the second over past third slip for four. Two balls later, however, Corey Collymore had the 28-year-old caught at first slip.
Tim Murtagh then got in on the act by trapping Alex Barrow lbw to make it four for two.
However, James Hildreth and Compton, who made an unbeaten 69, steadied the ship with a partnership of 75 in 19 overs.
Murtagh was despatched for two fours by Compton, who then clipped Collymore through midwicket off the front foot before rocking back and pulling him to the fence.
After lunch, Toby Roland-Jones, operating with the wind at his back, produced the best spell of the match. His 2-37 in 10 overs could easily have resulted in three or even four wickets.
Hildreth brought up the fifty partnership with a pulled four off Roland-Jones, but the 24-year-old seamer had his revenge when the same player, on 38, toe-ended a pull to Eoin Morgan, who took a good catch running in from deep midwicket.
Craig Kieswetter, propping forward, edged to first slip to make it 90 for four and two overs later Roland-Jones almost struck again when Jos Buttler, on five, was put down at gully.
Somerset then enjoyed another moment of good fortune when Compton was dropped at second slip off Collymore on 43.
Compton and Buttler safely negotiated the next 10 overs before the latter presented Dawid Malan with a third catch.
Compton moved to an 81-ball 50 with a glanced four off Murtagh just before tea and, with the aid of Peter Trego, effectively ended Middlesex’s hopes of pulling off a memorable victory.
The sixth-wicket pair combined for 63 in 17 overs before Trego had his off stump rocked back, shortly after reaching a half-century that was just 52 balls in the making and which included a pulled six off Roland-Jones.
Craig Overton perished four balls later but Middlesex’s late surge fizzled out when Compton found another useful ally in Alfonso Thomas, who made 39 not out.
Middlesex took 10 points from the match to Somerset’s four.