Nick Compton produced an almighty bellow of exultation and massive leap into the air as he trotted through for the single that brought up his maiden Test century on the fourth day of the first Test against New Zealand yesterday.
The 29-year-old, playing his fifth Test, had reportedly been under immense pressure for his place in the side, with British media reporting that the promising Joe Root was to join captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order.
Compton only made his Test debut on England’s tour of India late last year and had made promising starts in five of his eight innings, but failed to convert any into big scores.
His highest score was 57 in the third Test in Kolkata and when he made a four-ball duck in the first innings at University Oval, the rumblings for Root were increasing.
“I was well aware of that,” Compton, the grandson of England great Denis Compton, told reporters after he finished the day on 102 not out with his side 234-1, just 59 runs behind New Zealand’s first innings lead.
“Joe Root is a fantastic talent; he has played brilliantly over the last year,” Compton added of the 22-year-old Yorkshireman who also made his debut against India last year, scoring 73 in the fourth Test.
“You just know instinctively, you don’t need to read the press, what you need to do and I felt like this innings was very important and needed to pull something out,” he said. “It was great that I could.”
Compton’s innings and 231-run partnership with captain Alastair Cook (116) dragged England back into the match after they faced a 293-run first innings deficit 45 minutes into the fourth day when Brendon McCullum declared at 460-9.
SRI LANKA V BANGLADESH
AFP, GALLE, Sri Lanka
Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal cracked maiden Test centuries to put Sri Lanka in command on the second day of the opening Test against Bangladesh in Galle yesterday.
Left-handed Thirimanne hit a solid 155 not out and Chandimal an unbeaten 116 as the hosts declared their first innings closed at 570-4 after adding 209 to their overnight total of 361-3 for the loss of just one wicket.
Off-spinner Sohag Gazi finished with 3-164, while seamer Abul Hasan was the other wicket-taker, finishing with 1-112.
Bangladesh were 135-2 in their first innings at stumps, with Mohammad Ashraful unbeaten on 65 and Mominul Haque 35 not out.