Compton stand ensures England head for draw

10 March 2013 12:16

Nick Compton's rescue mission for England came to an end on the final morning of the first Test against New Zealand Sunday, but not before he ensured a draw was the most likely outcome.

Compton added 15 to his overnight total before he was trapped leg before wicket by Neil Wagner for 117 as England advanced to 329 for two at the end of the session having comfortably erased their 293-run deficit.

Nightwatchman Steven Finn remained defiantly at the crease on 42, easily surpassing his previous best Test score of 19, with Jonathan Trott on 37.

It was tough going for the New Zealand bowlers on the lifeless pitch at Dunedin's University Oval as Finn and Trott produced an unbeaten 64-run stand for the third wicket.

England resumed the day at 234 for one after Alastair Cook had been dismissed just before stumps on Saturday for 116.

Finn offered a difficult chance off Tim Southee in the opening over of the day which Dean Brownlie was unable to grasp in the slips, and Wagner cashed in on a rare Compton lapse, but it was otherwise plain sailing for England.

Compton, a grandson of the legendary Denis Compton, had plenty to celebrate, for his role in reviving England's fortunes after their first innings of 167.

It was his maiden Test century, his 231-run partnership with Cook was a record opening stand for England against New Zealand, and he importantly recovered from a first innings duck.

"It's the biggest relief of my life. To get to this moment was something special," a relieved Compton said of his maiden century.

"But obviously there's a bigger picture. Drawing the game is probably the best result we can get now," he added, thankful England were not going to embarrass themselves a second time.

"We weren't good enough in the first innings. That was a bit of a kick up the proverbial."

Source: AFP