James Hildreth hundred hits Lancashire's hopes

LV County Championship Division One, Taunton
Close, day one: Somerset 314-5 v Lancashire
Somerset 3pts, Lancashire 1pt
Match scorecard
Live commentary
James Hildreth
James Hildreth had only previously hit one first-class hundred this season

Somerset batsman James Hildreth hit his highest first-class score of the summer to put title-chasing Lancashire on the back foot at Taunton.

Somerset closed on 314-5, with Hildreth unbeaten on 161 sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 170 with Jos Buttler (68).

Visiting skipper Glen Chapple shrugged off an injury to pick up two early wickets, while Gary Keedy struck twice.

But Simon Kerrigan, fresh from his career-best 9-51 on Saturday, sent down 31 overs, ending up wicketless.

Lancashire went into their final game, against a fourth-placed Somerset side out of the running, three points adrift of Warwickshire at the top of the County Championship.

But, after losing the toss, the Red Rose title hopes are already beginning to falter, thanks to Hildreth, who passed his previous best score of the season, 137 against reigning champions Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The Lancashire spinners bowled with great control in windy conditions to put a brake on the scoring. In fact, it was as measure of their control that no boundary was struck between the 53rd and 94th overs.

But the visitors were handicapped by an injury to skipper Chapple, who pulled up in his fifth over and was struggling from then on.

Chapple still dismissed both Somerset openers, finding an edge from Alex Barrow in the seventh over before later bowling Arul Suppiah (29) with a ball that nipped back, having had to leave the field for treatment on what appeared a hamstring problem in between.

Late in the day, he took the new ball with Somerset 278-5, but hobbled in for just two overs clearly in a lot of discomfort.

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