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County Championship: Somerset lead Surrey in relegation battle

Nick Compton: Contributed vital knock of 66 against fellow strugglers Surrey

Nick Compton helped Somerset recover from a stuttering start to gain a slim lead on day two of their LV= County Championship relegation battle with Surrey at Taunton.

On a day shortened by 19.3 overs due to bad light, the former England opener hit 66 in testing conditions to help his side make 260 in reply to Surrey's 195 before the visitors reached 13-0 at the start of their second innings.

Peter Trego (38), Craig Kieswetter (32), Piyush Chawla (32) and Craig Meschede (27) also made valuable contributions after openers Marcus Trescothick and Chris Jones had been dismissed for ducks.

The day began with Surrey on 195-8. They failed to add to that total, missing out on a precious batting point as Alfonso Thomas removed Chris Tremlett (1) and Jade Dernbach (0) to return figures of 4-23.

But the total looked a lot more respectable when Trescothick chopped the third ball of Somerset's reply from Dernbach onto his stumps and Jones edged Tremlett through to wicketkeeper Steve Davies to leave the hosts 4-2.

James Hildreth (12) helped Compton take the total to 46 before falling lbw playing across the line to Stewart Meaker, then Kieswetter shared a stand of 62 in quick time before driving into the hands of extra cover.

Compton had demonstrated some glorious cover drives amid solid defence to reach fifty off 88 balls with 11 fours, but his innings ended when he chopped a ball from Dernbach onto his stumps with the total on 130.

In the same over Dernbach (3-80) pinned Alex Barrow lbw for 13 and, at 133-6, Somerset were in danger of conceding a surprise first-innings deficit.

But Trego and Meschede added 68 in positive fashion before falling in quick succession to slow left-armer Zafar Ansari, who finished as statistically the best bowler with figures of 3-30.

At 201-8 Somerset's lead was just six runs, but Chawla showed typical panache to hit Ansari for a towering six over long-off as he and Lewis Gregory (23) added a priceless 55.