Compton saves Somerset
Middlesex fail to force victory on final day
Last Updated: 08/06/12 6:44pm
Nick Compton led Somerset to safety on the final day of their County Championship match against Middlesex at Lord's.
Compton, who was the first batsman to reach 1,000 first-class run for the season on June 1, had reached 69 not out when Somerset declared their second innings at 227-7, a lead of 36, to bring an end to proceedings at 6.05pm.
After rain delayed the start of day four by 75 minutes, Middlesex declined the chance to go for maximum batting bonous point and instead declared their first innings overnight on 364-3, an advantage of 191, in order to have a crack at Somerset's batting line-up.
It looked a good choice when Somerset slipped to 4-2 in the third over of their second innings, Tim Murtagh (3-36) trapping Alex Barrow lbw for a duck and Corey Collymore (1-47) accounting for Arul Suppiah (4) in the next over.
Compton and Hildreth regrouped with a third-wicket stand of 77 but Toby Roland-Jones (2-74) struck to remove Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter to leave the visitors back in trouble at 113-5, still 78 behind.
But Compton, who was given a life on 43 off Collymore and went on to hit eight fours in a 150-ball innings spanning more than four-and-a-half hours, found support from Peter Trego (50) and Alfonso Thomas (39no) to ensure Somerset avoided defeat.
Middlesex took 10 points from the match to Somerset's four.
Just 17.5 overs were possible on day three of the Division One fixture at Lord's, hindering Middlesex's hopes of claiming maximum batting points against Somerset.
The hosts moved their overnight score of 321-3 on to 364-3 before before the weather intervened for the second and final time at 12.15pm.
Dawid Malan shone brightly in the play that was possible, pulling visiting skipper Alfonso Thomas for a six on his way to a half-century.
However his attacking intent eventually led to his downfall, young paceman Craig Overton getting him caught by Alex Barrow out at deep square leg for 51.
Malan's departure ended an entertaining third-wicket stand of 74 with Joe Denly, who reached 116 not out from 219 balls by the time the players were taken from the field.
A record-breaking stand of 245 between Chris Rogers and Joe Denly backed up the efforts of Middlesex's bowlers on day two against Somerset.
Tim Murtagh, Toby Roland-Jones and Gareth Berg each took three wickets apiece as Somerset were all out for 173 at Lord's - losing their last five wickets for just 43 runs.
The visitors saw four wickets fall in the first 10 deliveries of the day, starting with that of Craig Kieswetter, who was caught behind off Berg for 48.
Middlesex did see opener Sam Robson depart for nine to leave the score at 40-1, although it would be some time before they would lose another wicket.
Rogers and Denly took control of proceedings by setting a new record for Middlesex's second wicket in first-class matches against Somerset.
Captain Rogers made 173 off just 191 balls - hitting 23 fours and three sixes - and Denly contributed an unbeaten 105 as Middlesex closed on 321-2, a lead of 148 over their Division One rivals.
Somerset were reduced to 130-4 before rain wiped out the final three hours of the opening day of their County Championship fixture against Middlesex at Lord's.
By the time the heavens opened at 3pm, 48.5 overs had been bowled and each of the four bowlers on show had taken a wicket.
Somerset were soon reduced to 2-1 after being asked to bat, opener Alex Barrow edged a leg cutter behind in Corey Collymore's first over and Nick Compton, fresh from passing 1,000 first-class runs last week, followed in the next over for one, bowled off his pad by Tim Murtagh.
Arul Suppiah was bowled by Toby Roland-Jones after batting 94 minutes for 15 but, from 45-3, Somerset's stand-in skipper James Hildreth (58) and Craig Kieswetter (48no) led a recovery with a fourth-wicket stand of 80 either side of lunch.
Gareth Berg made the fourth and final breakthrough of the day after coming on to complete Collymore 12th over, the Barbadian having pulled up feeling the back of his right knee after one ball. Berg's enforced introduction paid immediate dividends when Hildreth, pushing away from his body, edge to wicketkeeper John Simpson.
Some 13 deliveries later, the rain arrived and forced umpires Neil Mallender and Neil Bainton to take the players into the pavilion from where they never re-emerged.