Worcestershire v Somerset, FLt20 Midlands/Wales/West Group, New Road

Compton the anchor in sticky chase

Alex Winter at New Road

July 8, 2012

Comments: 3 | Text size: A | A

Somerset 120 for 3 (Compton 42*) beat Worcestershire 119 for 7 (Hughes 45*, Morkel 3-30) by seven wickets
Scorecard


Nick Compton and James Hildreth leave the field as rain intervenes, Worcestershire v Somerset, County Championship, Division One, New Road, 2nd day, May 31, 2012
Unlike their last visit, when rain ruined Nick Compton's pursuit of history, he and James Hildreth walked off victorious at New Road © PA Photos
Enlarge

Somerset have enjoyed regular success in the Friends Life t20, albeit not having lifted the trophy since 2005. Their batting line-up suggests they should sweep all before them. Here they were facing a must-win tie on a pitch not conducive to big hitting but got the job done to advance to the quarter-finals, where they have drawn Essex. They even allowed themselves a second verse of The Wurzels' The Blackbird, their victory song.

Despite losing, Worcestershire also went through as one of the two best third-placed sides and will now play Yorkshire at Headingley.

It was a pitch typical of a riverside ground with an exceptionally high water level: pretty slow and tacky but it gave the impression of being a touch two-paced. The outfield was also soft and bumpy and it made for anti-T20, with runs being ground out against slow bowling. Much credit is due to the groundstaff for getting the game on - a washout would have seen both teams qualify regardless of results elsewhere.

The situation was tailor-made for Nick Compton. He controlled the small chase. Compton's season began prolifically when most other batsman around the country struggled. His solid technique and ability to stay patient and build an innings were the basis for his early-season form, which nearly saw him make a thousand runs before the end of May. It was on this ground where his pursuit of the feat was ended cruelly by the weather.

Here again the weather briefly threatened to derail Somerset's progress but Compton's correct attributes enabled the visitors to carefully pick off the target. Having someone bat through is often required to marshal a small chase. Compton was the lynchpin, with an unbeaten 42 from 54-balls, holding the rudder steady to take Somerset through.

"The bowlers bowled very well and the spinners got the pace of the wicket," Compton said. "I don't think the wicket was that bad, it was a little bit tackier for them, which allowed us to get through a few overs at the start. But when I came into bat with pace on the ball it actually came through quite nicely. When they took pace off the ball it was difficult.

"It was nice to get a couple away early, I tend to get criticised for not going off like a train. But it suited me today, I like to take responsibility and it was important that I stayed until the end."

The difficulty of the surface was no more evident than in the first wicket of the match to fall: Vikram Solanki through with his stroke far too soon and providing a leading edge to mid-off. Conditions made getting away Somerset's spinners - George Dockrell and Max Waller - very difficult. The pair proved the most successful bowlers, sending down seven overs between them for just 33.

It was a work-it-around innings. There was a brief late flurry with Ben Scott's 14-ball 19 but not enough batsman were able to play around Phil Hughes' 50-ball 45 - his Compton innings. But it was hard to know what a competitive score was batting first.

Worcestershire managed to take the chase all the way to the penultimate over but while Compton was at the crease Somerset always looked likely to get over the line. He stuck four boundaries in the first five overs but then found the rope only once more, working the ball around and allowing his more aggressive partners to try and clear the ropes.

It was difficult, though, as Moeen Ali's offspin took up much of the middle of the innings, conceding only 13 in his four overs and ending Jos Buttler's run-a-ball knock. Left-armer David Lucas also returned for two tight overs, as the hosts tried to create a nervous ending - not knowing results elsewhere were in their favour.

But what they needed defending a small score was wickets and Worcestershire couldn't find enough of them. Somerset had two much in the armoury and when things began to get close, James Hildreth played a busy innings that was excellent considering the surface. He broke the back of the chase with three swift boundaries: reverse-sweeping Brett D'Oliveria, then taking successive Gareth Andrew deliveries over the leg side.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Alex Winter

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (July 9, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

Well done to Somerset for FINALLY picking the right squad! They even allowed Gregory and Waller to bowl nearly their full 8 overs - Some kind of miracle. I would have said that O'Brien should replace Trego in the order (3 to 7 and vice versa) but then he smacks a ton off 60 balls against the saffers - more please Trego!!!!

Posted by JG2704 on (July 9, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

I'm relieved Somerset qualified and congrats Gloucs and Worcs too.Could be a tough draw vs Essex - anyone know if Tres stands a chance for that one?

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 9, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

Phil Hughes is a run scoring machine. He is destroying all attacks he faces!

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Alex WinterClose
County Results
Hampshire v Warwickshire at Lord's - Sep 15, 2012
Hampshire won (lost fewer wickets)
Derbyshire v Hampshire at Derby - Sep 11-14, 2012
Derbyshire won by 6 wickets
Essex v Yorkshire at Chelmsford - Sep 11-14, 2012
Yorkshire won by 239 runs
Lancashire v Surrey at Liverpool - Sep 11-14, 2012
Match drawn
Leics v Gloucs at Leicester - Sep 11-14, 2012
Leics won by 2 wickets
Notts v Warwickshire at Nottingham - Sep 11-14, 2012
Match drawn
All recent results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days