Compton builds confidence for Test bow

Herald Series: Nick Compton is unbeaten on 54 runs in England's final warm-up match against Haryana Nick Compton is unbeaten on 54 runs in England's final warm-up match against Haryana

Nick Compton will make his Test debut high on confidence next week after his third successive half-century for England.

As the tourists again found runs easy to come by but wickets significantly harder on the Sardar Patel B Ground's ultra-flat surface, their new Test opener-in-waiting added a second-innings 54 not out to his 74 two days ago.

England's struggle to bowl out Haryana lasted until teatime on day three of four in this final warm-up match, thanks largely to Rahul Dewan - who carried his bat for a near eight-hour 143. But when they did complete the job, Haryana reaching 334, they still had a lead of 187 and therefore the notional option of enforcing the follow-on.

After spending almost 115 overs in the field under a hot sun and cloudless skies, it was no surprise they chose to bat again instead - and not much more of one that captain Alastair Cook, after his first-innings 97, decided Jonathan Trott (61no) could partner Compton in his place at the top of the order.

The South Africa-born pair did not look in the least trouble either, on the way to twin 98-ball 50s in a stumps total of 118 for none, to deal with a seam attack which had posed so few problems first time round on this bowlers' graveyard.

Compton's big stride in forward defence, and off-drive, is already a familiar sight after two weeks on tour - and his initial nought and one against India A and Mumbai A are becoming happily distant memories.

He helped to put England in position to bat on for perhaps half a session on Sunday before Cook judges the time is right to again set about the tougher task of taking opposition wickets.

If Compton's batting has become increasingly assured, the same could not be said of his fielding and catching as he and others showed signs of weariness while Dewan continued remorselessly. The Haryana opener edged short and wide of the slips more than once but mostly presented a broad bat in a 315-ball stay.

As England's stamina underwent an extreme yet appropriate test, for the challenges to come in a four-Test series, Compton floored one straightforward chance and Matt Prior, back on duty after Friday's stomach upset, was also short of his best behind the stumps.

Among their bowlers, Tim Bresnan (three for 66) got more than most out of the surface but even he could not shift Dewan.

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