Warwickshire v Somerset, Edgbaston, 3rd day

Compton frees up with future decided

Paul Edwards at Edgbaston

August 22, 2013

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Somerset340 and 133 for 2 (Compton 83*) lead Warwickshire 407 (Evans 138, Javid 133, Dockrell 6-96) by 66 runs
Scorecard


Nick Compton gave Somerset a strong start, Somerset v Australians, Taunton, 1st day, June 26, 2013
Nick Compton looked far more relaxed after signing a new Somerset deal © Getty Images
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There can be few more obvious ways of demonstrating your loyalty to a county than by signing a new contract when they are threatened by relegation and then scoring important runs which may help avert that indignity.

Nick Compton may not have much idea what the future holds for him as far as England is concerned but he has finally pledged his domestic future to Somerset for the next three years. And on a blissful late summer evening in Edgbaston, the opener put his bat where his pen was by making an unbeaten 83 as Somerset fought back on the third day of their Division One game against Warwickshire.

By the close of play Compton's innings, which had included ten crisp, confident boundaries, had helped Somerset establish a 66-run lead going into the final day of this match. A draw is now favourite and those three points may be vital in helping Marcus Trescothick's team avoid relegation; but wherever the game is heading, it has at last become clear that Compton is moving nowhere.

Opting to stay at Taunton may not have been a straightforward decision for the opener. He had been courted by richer and rather more fashionable counties, Warwickshire included. However, he has finally decided to stay at the county where he has produced his best cricket and his play on Thursday evening was both carefree and conscientious, as if he could finally apply himself to the business of scoring runs.

Yet batting was not easy on the third evening. Jeetan Patel carried a continual threat and had a confident lbw shout against Compton turned down when the opener had made 63. By then the offspinner had dismissed Trescothick for the second time in the match when the Somerset captain edged him to Rikki Clarke. Nor could the Taunton hierarchy have been too ecstatic to see Chris Jones run himself out for 16 when attempting a third run to Clarke's arm in the penultimate over of the day.

But Compton remained steadfast and secure, and while he does so it is hard to see how Warwickshire will achieve the win they need to further their ambitions. A game may be "set up" of course, but it is surely unlikely that Somerset will risk three hard-won points unless the terms offered were judged to be very favourable to them.

By contrast to Compton's careful approach, Warwickshire's batting on the third day was rather profligate. Having lost their first three wickets for 38 runs on the second morning, they proceeded to lose their last seven for exactly 100 runs, leaving Laurie Evans and Ateeq Javid's 269-run stand as a monument amid much rubble.

Evans was the first to depart on Thursday, trapped on the crease by Peter Trego when he had added only eight to his overnight 130. Tim Ambrose was then beaten by an Alfonso Thomas delivery which nipped back off the seam and the dangerous Clarke was run out three balls later when Thomas got a touch to a drive from Javid.

That left Warwickshire on 327 for 6 but the 39-year-old Darren Maddy then batted with the good judgement of twenty summers, and if his colleagues had been able to support him, the home side may well have gained the 100-run or more advantage they craved instead of the 67-run lead for which they had to settle.

Indeed, Varun Chopra's team lost their last four wickets in 14 overs after lunch, the first of them when Javid pushed tentatively at George Dockrell and was caught behind for a career-best 133. Things got worse for them when both Keith Barker and last man Patel were stumped by Craig Kieswetter off Dockrell, dismissals which sandwiched No. 10 Tom Milnes holing out at mid-on, also off the spinner.

All three wickets were, to some degree at least, given away by the home side in a manner unbefitting champions. Dockrell, who had maintained a tight line for virtually the whole of his 43.4-over spell, collected 6 for 96 - nice figures if you can get 'em. Maddy, who had scarcely made an error, was left stranded on 40 and could have been excused for wondering if it was, after all, time to hang up his boots and take to coaching.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 23, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

@ aq111 on (August 23, 2013, 9:00 GMT) Strongly disagree. Jos was picked for England as a batsman , before Craig fell out of favour with the selectors. The same thing could just as easily happen to Jos. Jos (I believe) has yet to even score a 50 for England seniors and if he doesn't fulfill his potential , Eng could just as easily discard him as they have Craig and Nick. Does Jos want to keep wicket or does he want to keep wicket only because he is under some illusion that it will help him play test cricket for England? There were no murmurs of discontent from Jos not being WK until he took the gloves at England. So for me he is gambling his career at the county where he was born and bred for maybe a chance of playing test cricket and he's have to improve his 1st class stats big time before he eclipses Jonny (and maybe others) as Prior's successor. I genuinely think he is more likely to be displaced in the Eng shorter formats set up than he is to ever play test cricket.

Posted by aq111 on (August 23, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

JG2704, I'm not sure it's a case of "it would be good if Jos followed suit but I fear his head has been turned." Somerset have made it quite clear who the senior wicket-keeper is and Jos Butler would be foolish to stay if he can find a club that will help him realise his full potential and further his career...I hope he does and wish him success.

Posted by Paul_Somerset on (August 23, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

Doesn't Nosworthy actually watch any international cricket before signing clowns like Chawla? Dean Elgar was bad enough after his failures in Tests, but I suppose Nosworthy just wanted to help a fellow Saffer. But Chawla ... Good grief! The man's been gone as a bowler for two years now.

Whoever on the Somerset committee forced out the great Brian Rose in favour of Nosworthy should stand up, explain their thinking and consider their position.

Either that or carry on treating us supporters like mushrooms and face the consequences of at least one of us not paying to be a Member in 2014.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 22, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Good on you Nick , it would be good if Jos followed suit but I fear his head has been turned. Unless there's a Somerset collapse - and there could well be - this looks like being a draw. I'm fearing even more that Somerset will be relegated. Surrey have signed the best batsman in the worldand we have signed a bowler who in his 1st inns has conceeded the most runs at the worst ER and took 0 wickets when Dockrell took 6. We just has to hope there's better to come

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