Compton ton revives flagging Middlesex

Close, day three: Hampshire 413 & 4-0 lead Middlesex 362 by 55 runs

Nick Compton hit his first century since returning to Middlesex as he led a fightback at Southampton.

The visitors looked in trouble at 152-5 but Compton (117) shared in healthy partnerships with John Simpson and Ollie Rayner to move past the follow-on target.

Middlesex were still 144 behind when Compton fell, though, and they required a belligerent knock of 61 from Toby Roland-Jones to keep the hosts’ first innings lead down to 51.

Rain late in the day meant only 11 balls of Hampshire’s second innings were bowled.

Having been on the back foot for the first two days, Middlesex – who resumed on 102-3 – could have done without losing both James Franklin and Neil Dexter before lunch, the latter trapped lbw by former team-mate Gareth Berg.

Simpson (36) and Rayner (29) built patient innings, their steadying influence allowing Compton to make his first County Championship century in a Middlesex shirt since he scored 178 against Derbyshire in September 2009.

The stands of 59 and 58 respectively ensured the hosts would bat again but when Rayner went, Middlesex were nine down and trailed by 126.

However, a superb last-wicket partnership of 75 reduced the deficit considerably, Roland-Jones hitting nine fours and a six in his run-a-ball 61, ably supported by Steven Finn (18 not out).

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