James Hildreth and Nick Compton steer Somerset towards survival
James Hildreth and Nick Compton eased Somerset towards safety with an unbroken 172-run stand on the second day of their County Championship clash with Nottinghamshire.
The duo came together with Somerset in trouble at 11 for two, but defied Nottinghamshire’s bowlers for the second successive year at Trent Bridge to ease their side to 183 for two when bad light prematurely ended an already-abridged day.
Hildreth hit an undefeated 102, whilst Compton, omitted from England’s Ashes party earlier this week, showed his class with a stylish 62 not out.
Nottinghamshire still held an overall lead of 223, having advanced their first-innings score to 406 earlier in the day.
The Nottinghamshire first innings lasted for a further 35 minutes after play eventually began at 1.15pm, following a morning of thick fog and steady drizzle.
Paul Franks fell to the first delivery of the day, adjudged to be leg-before against Alfonso Thomas.
Nottinghamshire ensured maximum batting points as they went past 400 for the seventh time this season but the innings was then wrapped up by Thomas, who claimed two further wickets in five deliveries, to finish with four for 103.
Luke Fletcher clipped into the hands of Compton at deep square leg and Harry Gurney gloved one through to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, leaving Brett Hutton undefeated on 20 on his Championship debut.
With the floodlights burning brightly against Nottingham’s slate grey sky, Marcus Trescothick failed again when Somerset’s innings began.
The 37-year old was trapped leg-before by Gurney for just two and his opening partner, Chris Jones, then edged Fletcher behind, leaving Compton and Hildreth to stage their fightback.
In the corresponding fixture last season, the pair added an unbroken 217 together but a repeat seemed unthinkable as Nottinghamshire claimed to have Compton caught behind before he had scored and then out lbw on one, both off Gurney.
Reprieved on both occasions, the spurned Test batsman eased into his work. His unbeaten 204 here a year ago was a master-class in concentration and timing.
This time Compton was content to play second fiddle to Hildreth but broke free to loft Samit Patel over the long off ropes to bring up a battling half-century from 91 deliveries, with eight fours and that one six.
Hildreth also hit a maximum to bring up a run-a-ball century – pulling Fletcher over deep square leg – to reach his 29th first-class ton.
On an easy-paced wicket, which has already produced three centuries, both counties will hope to have already done enough to have beaten the drop.