But the man who made the tourists toil most was 22-year-old Chris Jones, who went into the game with a first class average of 17 and scored his maiden century in a Somerset total of 320 all out.
Jones was only playing because of an injury to Alviro Petersen and scored 130 off 239 balls, with 21 fours and two sixes, sharing stands of 170 with Compton and 119 with James Hildreth, who made 66.
It was a tough day for the Australian bowlers until the second new ball was taken. Then Mitchell Starc (four for 33) and James Pattinson (four for 56) ran riot as the county lost six wickets for no runs in the space of 28 balls from 310 for three.
The tourists were left with one lively over from Jamie Overton to face and closed on two without loss. It was an amazing turnaround in front of a 7,000 crowd. None of the Aussie bowlers had previously been able to shine on a prime Taunton batting pitch in warm sunshine.
Pattinson did have the satisfaction of removing Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick with only 15 on the board after the home side had won the toss. The former England opener top-edged a pull shot to fine-leg where Starc took a good running catch.
Compton had plenty to prove after Joe Root was preferred as Alastair Cook's opening partner for England's Ashes warm-up fixture against Essex. From a typically watchful start, the Somerset man gradually became more positive and had moved to 49 by lunch, which was taken on 97 for one, with Jones unbeaten on 32.
Two balls after the interval, Compton reached his fifty off 82 balls, with eight fours. Jones followed to the landmark off 104 deliveries, with nine fours just after the pair had brought up their century stand in 30.3 overs.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon sent down 23 overs for figures of one for 75, extracting some turn from the River End. He gained his reward with the wicket of Compton, who edged to slip where Michael Clarke took an amazing juggling catch, one-handed, diving to his left, eventually holding the ball an inch or so off the ground.
Compton swished his bat in frustration as he walked off, a clear indication of what a century would have meant to him. As it was, he faced 144 balls and extended his boundary count to 13.
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- James Pattinson
- Mitchell Starc