County Championship: James Hildreth century puts Somerset on top against Hampshire

Somerset batsman James Hildreth
James Hildreth also hit an unbeaten 111 against Worcestershire at Taunton last month
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day two):
Hampshire 231: Vince 44; Abell 3-36
Somerset 324-7: Hildreth 125*, C Overton 80; Berg 4-88
Somerset (6 pts) lead Hampshire (3 pts) by 90 runs

James Hildreth hit his second century of the summer to help bat Somerset into a commanding position on day two of their Division One game with Hampshire.

Somerset soon picked up the two wickets they needed as Hampshire were bowled out for 231 at Taunton.

Gareth Berg (4-88) helped reduce Somerset to 134-5 in reply.

But Hildreth, who finished unbeaten on 125, put on 133 for the sixth wicket with England's Craig Overton (80) to help his side reach 324-7 at the close.

Hildreth, 33, who was badly dropped on 24 by Fidel Edwards, has now scored 322 Championship runs this summer at an average of 64.40.

Spinner Jack Leach, who made his England Test debut in New Zealand in March and hopes to be in Tuesday's squad for the forthcoming series with Pakistan, will resume on 22 not out to follow a career-best 66 in last week's draw with Lancashire.

Paceman Overton's performance with the bat could also not have been better timed with England's selectors mulling over their options.

The 24-year-old, who played three Tests over the winter, struck 12 boundaries in his 88-ball innings having earlier ended Hampshire's innings when he had Edwards caught behind.

Somerset's James Hildreth:

"I was about to walk off when I clipped the ball to mid-wicket because it was a pretty simple catch. But that's cricket. You have to make the most of it when things go your way.

"It's so easy batting with Craig Overton because he plays his shots and keeps the scoreboard moving. It was an important partnership for the team.

"We need more runs because it is a pretty good pitch. When Hampshire changed the ball during the afternoon it began to swing and there was also a bit of turn for their spinner."

Hampshire's Gareth Berg:

"If the catch offered by Hildreth had been taken we might have been looking at bowling Somerset out for 150 or 160. He played really well after that.

"When Kyle Abbott was injured we knew it would mean more work for the other bowlers, so it was great to see him come back and bowl 10 overs after tea.

"I enjoy taking big wickets like the overseas player and captain so I was particularly pleased to dismiss Matt Renshaw and Tom Abell. Our position is critical because the pitch is still doing a bit for the bowlers."