Alfonso Thomas and Craig Meschede hold up Hampshire

LV County Championship Division One, Taunton
Close, day three: Somerset 204 & 266-7 v Hampshire 627-9 dec
Hampshire 7pts, Somerset 2pts
Match scorecard
LV County Championship

Somerset pair Alfonso Thomas and Craig Meschede shared a century seventh-wicket stand to hold up Hampshire's push for victory at Taunton.

After Jimmy Adams finally fell for 207, Sean Ervine hit 98 as Hampshire declared on 627-9, a lead of 423.

Somerset slumped to 23-3 and were 132-6 before Thomas (79 not out) and Meschede (53) resisted with a stand of 134.

But Dimitri Mascarenhas then bowled young Meschede with the final ball of the day as Somerset closed on 266-7.

Although Adams could add only three to his overnight 204, the visitors still extended their first innings lead to leave title hopefuls Somerset needing 423 to avoid an innings defeat.

After James Tomlinson and Imran Tahir had taken two wickets each, acting captain Thomas and teenage all-rounder Meschede salvaged some pride to take the game into a fourth day.

But, despite Thomas reaching his highest first-class score in England - beating the 70 he made against the same opponents at Taunton in 2009 - and Meschede recording his maiden first-class half-century. Somerset closed still 157 runs in arrears.