County Championship round-up: Compton cruelly denied by the rain


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The Independent Online

In the end, it was the occupational hazard of rain that did for Nick Compton's attempt to become only the ninth batsman in 117 years to score 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May, leaving him stranded on nine not out as Somerset reached 27 for 2 before the weather intervened at Worcester yesterday.

Had he scored another 50 runs he would have joined the company of W G Grace, Don Bradman, Wally Hammond, Bill Edrich, Tom Hayward, Charlie Hallows, Glenn Turner and Graeme Hick – the last to do it in 1988.

But for the rain, Compton would have had a chance to complete the job after some excellent bowling from the all-rounder Peter Trego, who finished with 5 for 75 from 37 overs, had induced a Worcestershire collapse from 270 for 3 overnight to 340 all out, their last seven wickets falling for 38 runs.

This allowed Somerset's first innings to begin immediately after lunch, which meant that once the first wicket had fallen Compton would have whatever remained of two full sessions to score the 59 runs he still needed.

That happened within 25 minutes as the opener Alex Barrow was caught behind driving loosely at a ball from David Lucas. He had been at the crease for barely half an hour, however, when the umpires Martin Bodenham and Trevor Jesty took the players off. With no significant change in the conditions, play was abandoned for the day three hours later, without a further ball.

"It is a bit of an anticlimax," Compton said. "I'll be honest, I've had a few sleepless nights thinking about the illustrious names that have achieved it.

"As ever, England has let me down with the weather. But I blame only myself really. I had a chance in the last game when I got to 60-odd against Durham on a good wicket but got a bit ahead of myself and got myself out."

Elsewhere, Durham's Graham Onions finished with 5 for 43 as Lancashire were bowled out for 170 at Chester-le-Street, while Middlesex's Chris Rogers is 93 not out against Sussex at Lord's.