Middlesex v Somerset: Nick Compton leads visitors' recovery
|LV= County Championship Division One, Uxbridge|
|Close, day two: Middlesex 338 v Somerset 153-4|
|Middlesex 3pts Somerset 3pts|
Nick Compton and James Hildreth made fifties to help Somerset recover from a poor start against Middlesex at Uxbridge.
Dawid Malan took his overnight 90 to 124 for the hosts, but four of their batsmen went for ducks as they were all out for 338, with seam bowler Craig Overton taking 4-84.
Steven Finn (2-48) and Tim Murtagh then reduced Somerset to 28-3 in reply.
But Compton (58 no) and Hildreth (53) added 75 as they closed on 153-4.
Hildreth was eventually bowled by Neil Dexter after completing his third Championship half century of the summer and bad light then curtailed play, with Somerset 185 behind.
Compton, though, remained at the crease after being dropped on 16 by Paul Stirling, who was filling in for Eoin Morgan in the slips while the England international was receiving treatment for a bee sting.
The visitors, currently one place above Middlesex in Division One, had seen Finn dismiss openers Marcus Trescothick and Chris Jones, before Alviro Petersen edged Murtagh behind to leave them in trouble.
Earlier, Malan hit his second Championship century in as many matches, having made one in the first innings against Northants last week.
Thereafter, only Stirling (56) and Toby Roland-Jones (31) among the lower order made significant contributions.
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Bad light meant a further seven overs have been lost in a match that looks as though it will need all the time it can get for a victory for either side.
"Middlesex started the day well as Dawid Malan brought up a deserved century after a fluent knock on a track that kept the Somerset bowlers interested throughout.
"But, having lost Paul Stirling just before lunch, the innings was quickly wrapped up denying the hosts even a fourth batting point when at one stage they would have hoped to push beyond 400, which would have been a daunting prospect on this track.
"The Middlesex bowlers began well, with Steven Finn bowling his best spell of the season, finding pace, bounce and consistency, but the ball appeared to soften quicker than in Middlesex's own innings and, once Nick Compton was dropped by Stirling at slip off Neil Dexter, the threat to the batsman diminished."
BBC Somerset's Anthony Gibson:
"It was another evenly-balanced day between two well-matched sides.
"A clatter of wickets before and after lunch saw Middlesex subside from 319-6 to 338 all out, whereupon Somerset lost their first three wickets for just 28, thanks mainly to as hostile and accurate a spell as Steven Finn has bowled all season.
"But a fluent James Hildreth and a determined Nick Compton pulled the situation round with a stand of 75, and after Hildreth departed, Alex Barrow kept Compton company to the close."