Day 2 Report: Somerset v Durham
by John Ward

Scorecard:Somerset v Durham
Event:LV County Championship 2013

DateLine: 7th June 2013


Somerset v Durham

John Ward at Taunton, day 2
Close of play: Somerset (458) v Durham (163/3)


Nick Compton was quietly happy with his innings of 166 against Durham, completed today, although he is not looking too far into the future at present. He said it had been a case of ‘back to basics’ for him, waiting for the ball rather than pushing at it and ensuring his defence was sound. He paid particular tribute to all those who had given him so much support during his period of indifferent form for England, especially those at Somerset.


Despite the advantage Compton’s innings gave his team, the match looks quite likely to be another draw, unless one side decides to collapse unexpectedly. The Somerset bowling was particularly toothless when Durham went in to bat, and they progressed comfortably to 163 for two, until they lost Will Smith, who rather gave his wicket away in the final over of the day. Despite this encouragement, though, it is difficult to see a genuine result unless one team’s batsmen give it away.


Somerset resumed their innings this morning at 336 for five, with Compton on 139 and Peter Trego 14. It took Compton twenty minutes to reach his 150 (195 balls), and the pair simply concentrated on steady accumulation, with no real air of urgency about quick scoring. They added 83 in 24 overs before Compton’s seven-hour innings finally came to an end. He appeared to be in two minds about playing a ball from Ryan Buckley and was caught at the wicket for 166. He faced 324 balls and hit 18 fours and a six.


Trego soon followed for 42, which proved to be the second-highest score in a team innings where only one player was dismissed for less than 24; only Compton showed the application to play a major innings. Trego fell to a brilliant catch: he top-edged an attempted scoop off Buckley, and Collingwood at slip had to move backwards and leap high to pull it down successfully. George Dockrell (31) and Jamie Overton (24) made some useful runs and the innings closed soon after lunch for 458. Buckley took three expensive wickets, but overall Graham Onions (two for 62) was the best bowler.


Durham had reached 17 without loss off 5.4 overs before rain came, stopping play for almost two hours, until after tea. Afterwards the opening partnership reached 38 between two left-handers before Keaton Jennings tried to execute a flashing drive against a delivery from Jamie Overton and was caught in the slips for 15.


Some of the Somerset seam bowling was wayward and Mark Stoneman helped himself gleefully, with one boundary after another off the loose balls that came his way, albeit some off the edge. He raced to his fifty off 53 balls with his eleventh boundary – a thick edge past the slips – but after that the bowling tightened and his run rate slowed. Scott Borthwick now became the leading partner; after a slow start he gradually increased his scoring rate and almost matched Stoneman by reaching fifty off 57 balls. The bowling, however, was often far from challenging. Moments later, he miscued a drive off Dockrell into the covers and departed for 56; 140 for one after a partnership of 102.


Will Smith came in and looked like surviving to the close, only to drive a firm catch straight at extra cover for 7 in the final over of the day. Stoneman was unbeaten on 78, but the score was now 163 for three and, for a rather frustrated Somerset, it represented a small ray of hope.


(Article: Copyright © 2013 John Ward)


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