Somerset’s Nick Compton is the leading run scorer in the LV= County Championship, needing just 13 runs to pass 1,000 runs in the blue riband event, and is under no illusions as to what Somerset can expect from the game against Lancashire at Liverpool which starts this morning.
The Cidermen put themselves back into contention when they beat Warwickshire against the odds in their last four-day outing and are hungry for more success, but Compton knows in reality what they can expect to face at Aigburth, a club ground.
“They beat us there last year and went on to win the title last year, but this time round they haven’t been doing so well,” Compton said.
“This is the time of year when every team is gearing themselves up and going for that final push towards the line, so we can expect a very hard-fought game.
“It normally turns up there and they have a couple of handy left-arm spinners, so it maybe a battle in that department, but I also think it may nip around early on and it could be a battle of attrition.”
Compton added: “We have done well recently. We must not get ahead of ourselves, but we have a nice little formula going at the moment.
“It’s nice to have the captain [Marcus Trescothick] back in our ranks. That has given everyone a little bit of a boost. These are exciting times for the club, competing in all of the competitions, so there’s a lot to play for.”
Craig Kieswetter, whose 152 was the mainstay of Somerset’s run chase to beat Warwickshire said: “Liverpool is notoriously a result ground.
“We are on the back of a really good four-day win and have a lot of momentum in our cricket, so hopefully we can continue with our push in all three forms of the game and this week is an ideal opportunity for us to try to achieve that.”
James Hildreth, Somerset’s second-highest run-scorer, said: “They are all big games for us at the moment and we are getting to the business end of the season. We had a great win against Warwickshire after being on the back foot for much of the time, so we have got some good momentum.”
Somerset welcome back pace bowler Steve Kirby, who has been missing from the four-day side since suffering a side strain in the match against Nottinghamshire back in April. He said: “I just can’t wait to get started again. I’ve worked so hard to get myself back to full fitness, and I hope that I can go out and make a contribution. I hope that I can give that extra bit of impetus now and hopefully give the lads a performance.”
With George Dockrell away on Ireland Under-19 duty, Somerset have included 21-year-old left arm spinner Jack Leach in their squad of 12. Leach, a local lad who is attending Cardiff University, made his first-team debut in the two-day game against South Africa, but has yet to play in the County Championship.
Somerset: Trescothick (capt), Suppiah, Compton, Hildreth, Kieswetter (wkt), Buttler, Trego, Thomas, Leach, Kirby, Hussain, Gregory.