Somerset v Durham, Taunton, 1st day June 6, 2013

Compton ton gives England Ashes boost


Somerset 336 for 5 (Compton 139*) v Durham

Nick Compton produced the perfect response to his critics with a century for Somerset on the opening day of their Championship match against Durham. Instructed by the England coach, Andy Flower, to go away and get back into some form on the county circuit, the 29-year-old opener hit 139 not out, including 15 fours and a six, to lead his side to a total of 336 for 5 in perfect batting conditions and enhance his claims to a place in the Ashes.

Marcus Trescothick and Arul Suppiah both contributed 36, while Dean Elgar (33) and James Hildreth (32) also got out when apparently well set. Graham Onions was the pick of the Durham attack with two for 43 off 18 overs.

But it was Compton's day. After a sketchy start that saw him score only 23 from 87 balls before lunch, he blossomed in the afternoon session to reach a four-hour hundred off 203 balls. He was given one life on 53 when Paul Collingwood dropped a sharp catch at slip off the bowling of young offspinner Ryan Buckley.

By then the shackles seemed to have been removed. Compton brought up his half-century off 129 balls with a four and a straight six off successive balls from Buckley and began to look as though he was enjoying his batting again. The second fifty was far more fluent, occupying 74 deliveries. A misfield by Mark Stoneman at mid-off brought Compton his 12th four and the coveted three figures, greeted with a hug from partner Hildreth and warm applause from Somerset supporters.

They had good cause to be grateful as none of the other top order batsmen could match Compton's powers of concentration. Trescothick had breezed to 36 when driving at a very wide ball from Onions and edging a catch to second slip.

It was 82 for 1 at lunch and 50 more had been added when the accurate Onions struck again, bowling Suppiah middle and leg stump. Tea was taken at 212 for 3 and straight after the interval Elgar had a wild slog at Will Smith to surrender his wicket, also clean bowled. When Hildreth also moved sweetly into the thirties only to fall lbw playing a across a full ball from Buckley, Somerset were in danger of failing to capitalise on what seemed almost ideal batting conditions.

Alex Barrow looked confident enough in moving to 25 before falling victim to the second new ball as his stumps were rearranged by Mark Wood to make it 307 for 5. Peter Trego kept Compton company until the close, but Durham could feel they had stuck to their task well in the soaring temperatures.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • phermon on June 9, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    randyoz, I am an Australian and i find your commenst generally match Gower's summary only too well.If Compton is a walking wicket - then that shows true sportsmanship - if he knows he's out. Gilchrist was an wonderful exception to the Australian rule. Cheers, buddy, and do try to learn to be a little more generous and less one-eyed

  • JG2704 on June 8, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (June 8, 2013, 8:52 GMT) To be fair Bell did score a ton in the last test of the last India series

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 8, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    @pyketts... Compo has recently scored very useful back to back hundreds... not bad in a handful of tests, one has to go back a very long time to be able to even spot bells last 3 figures, and then a very very long time to spot the previous one, let alone back to back... bell is a liability and now a passenger and should have been moved on ... JB is the future .. bell has been given numerous chances, and only succeeds a/ in a dead rubber, b/ vs B'desh (ave 158 bloating his overall ave above 40) c/ only when someone else does, he has never scored a solus ton... Holing out in Brisbane, and Melbourne and THAT shot in Hyderabad.... when was the last time bell was MOM (let alone MOS) and did something useful??????

  • JG2704 on June 7, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    @ Pyketts - Ok - My opinion is that England should not be picking out of form players when the team is losing. When Cook was going through a rough patch England were still winning. When Bell started going through a bad trot in UAE , the team were losing because of their poor batting performances and Bell was kept in and yet he looked no better then than Nick looked in the last series. If you look at someone like Ferguson (in football - and I'm not a Man U fan) , he was never afraid to make difficult/unpopular decisions if he felt the team would benefit from them. I don't feel Strauss/Flower/Cook would do similar. I think there are reasons for and against picking Nick but if he's out of form then don't pick him. Re the balance , maybe they shouldn't have picked him to begin with as he's never been a flowing batsman.

  • dummy4fb on June 7, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Bizare how Compton is being compared to Hick and Ramps. IF memory serves me right both had numerous opportunities over an extended perioed of time: basically every 18 months when England needed a new batsman they were tried again. Compton on the other hand has been given one opportunity, done fairly well and will never get anothe one if he is not picked - hardly the same? As a somerset fan i am the first to admit he is not a world class batsman, however he does a job and does it well. Does he have the natural talent of Bell; does he deserve the same amount of time to proove himseelf? no. Should he get the firt Ashes gig, yes. After that then who knows. From a elfish point of view iwould be happy to have him bak at somerset coring runs... god do we need him!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 7, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    @RavinALaugh: Phil Hughes. That's all that one can say. Phil Hughes.

  • Juiceoftheapple on June 7, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Far more important to Somerset - given Compton who we desperately need is away with England - is that the sun is out and that normally means Hildreth scores runs. Tresco cannot be expected to carry on his form forever and the next man with the talent and experience is Hildreth. Without doubt our most important player over the next 5 seasons.

  • RavinALaugh on June 7, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    @RandyOz: You're right in that one. He is an absolute walking wicket. He reminds me of the.. um... oh what's their name?

    Oh yeah, the entire Australian batting pool. :D

  • RandyOZ on June 7, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Great news for Oz, hope he still gets picked in the Ashes! A walking wicket at international level.

  • Pyketts on June 7, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    @Tom Ford some people still seem to be in the 00's re their comments about Bell always failing when England need him. Compton's batting is stuck in the 1980's so forgive me as we all seem to be getting muddled with time periods!

    You can gladly keep Compton, England don't need him.