NICK Compton, so often a thorn in Durham’s flesh, defied his neck problem as well as the home attack this afternoon.

He was on 59 at tea out of Somerset’s total of 144 for four, meaning they still need 193 off 37 overs to win.

Durham’s hopes rose when Usman Arshad took two wickets in an excellent nine-over spell which cost only 15 runs, but a chance missed by the usually reliable Scott Borthwick at second slip is proving costly.

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Craig Kieswetter was on nine when the sharp chance off Graham Onions was put down and the wicketkeeper has so far put on 52 with Compton.

Compton batted at No 8 in the first innings following a neck spasm and was absent from the ground yesterday, when he was reported to be in considerable discomfort.

But on the ground where he scored 254 not out three years ago he has looked in little trouble.

Arshad had Alviro Petersen caught by Borthwick for 23 and two overs later James Hildreth departed for one when he edged a drive to Phil Mustard.