Compton needs 67 in two knocks to emulate Hick
Somerset 357 for 8 (Trego 67*, Compton 64) trail Durham 384 (Smith 100, Di Venuto 96) by 27 runs
Nick Compton needs another 67 runs in what seems likely to be a maximum of two innings to become the first batsman since Graeme Hick 24 years ago to reach 1,000 first-class runs in English cricket before the end of May.
Compton scored 64 in 121 balls for Somerset at Taunton before he pulled a short ball from Durham's slow left-armer Ian Blackwell to Callum Thorp, who leapt to take the catch above his head at mid wicket.
Peter Trego enjoyed a good day with ball and bat as Somerset ran up 357 for 8 on the second day of an evenly-balanced contest. He took his Championship wicket tally for the season to 26 by helping to clean up the Durham tail as they were bowled out for 384 from an overnight 353 for eight. Then he hit his first half-century of the season, sharing a seventh-wicket stand of 99 with 18-year-old Craig Overton, who hit 50 off 54 balls, before finishing unbeaten on 67.
Blackwell (three for 74) and Jamie Harrison, who marked his Championship debut with three for 88, were the pick of the Durham attack. But, as on the first day, batting errors were chiefly responsible for the wickets that fell in more unbroken sunshine.
Harrison (15) and Liam Plunkett (24) played positively at the start of the day before falling to Trego and Alfonso Thomas respectively as Durham added 31 to their total.
Somerset suffered a poor start in reply as Harrison pinned Arul Suppiah lbw for four, but Alex Barrow and Compton were both unbeaten on 25 at lunch with the score 66 for one. Barrow nicked a leg-side catch to wicketkeeper Phil Mustard off a rusty-looking Steve Harmison without adding to his score after the interval.
But Hildreth came in to blaze three fours off his first four deliveries and looked in supreme form. He made 53 from 39 balls with 10 fours and a six when he missed an attempted pull off Harrison and losing his leg stump. By then Somerset were 138 for 3, with Compton well set.
Jos Buttler gave his wicket away with a flashing cut off Blackwell before he had scored, Mustard taking a routine catch, and when Kieswetter fell lbw to Thorp for 42 Somerset were in trouble at 209 for 6.
Overton showed no nerves in bludgeoning 10 fours in his maiden Championship half-century, sharing an entertaining stand with Trego which put their team back in the game. By the close Somerset were 27 runs behind, with Trego having reined himself back responsibly. He had faced 112 balls and hit six fours and a six.