(Reuters) – Discarded England opener Nick Compton scored a fluent 81 as Australia suffered another mixed day in an Ashes warm-up against Somerset yesterday.
Fresh from sacking coach Mickey Arthur and installing Darren Lehmann following a series of poor results, Australia were taken apart for much of the day with the English county side reaching 304-2 at one stage.
Compton, replaced as England’s preferred top order batsman by Yorkshire’s 22-year-old Joe Root, led the early charge on the first day of a four-day match at Taunton but just like in the test team he was overshadowed by a youngster.
He put on 170 for the second wicket with another 22-year-old, Chris Jones, after the early dismissal of skipper Marcus Trescothick.
Once Compton fell, to a juggling catch by returning Australian skipper Michael Clarke off spinner Nathan Lyon, the unheralded Jones went on to hit a magnificent 130.
The tourists fought back strongly after Jones was out and from 304-2 Somerset slumped to 320 all out, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson picking up four wickets each.
Compton, who also celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday, scored consecutive test centuries in New Zealand this year but then struggled for form in the return series.
He has been overlooked for England’s warm-up game against Essex on Sunday before the five-test Ashes series starts at Trent Bridge on July 10.
Australia, without the banned David Warner after he punched England’s Root in a bar during the recent Champions Trophy, closed the day on two for no loss.
A back injury meant Clarke missed all three matches in the Champions Trophy, where his side crashed out in the group stage.