Hildreth puts Somerset in charge

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James Hildreth

James Hildreth compiled his third LV= County Championship century of the season as Somerset continued to dominate

A chanceless century from James Hildreth at Taunton put Somerset into a strong position in their LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire, who will begin Wednesday morning 52 runs behind with seven second innings wickets remaining.

Hildreth, who was on 35 overnight, opened his account with a crisply hit cover drive off the fifth delivery of the day from Chris Woakes after the home side had resumed on 145 for three.

The right-hander continued to dominate early proceedings and moved to his 50 with two to midwicket off Woakes.

At the other end Arul Suppiah, who started on 61, had moved onto 64 when he edged a lifting ball from Andrew Miller to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.

The two former Millfield students added 86 runs between them for the fourth wicket in 27 overs.

Hildreth was joined by Jos Buttler, who survived a confident appeal for leg before by Imran Tahir in the 57th over before bringing up the Somerset 200 in the 61st.

With the total on 210 for four the introduction of Darren Maddy into to the attack from the Old Pavilion End for the 65th over considerably changed the complexion of the morning session.

In his fourth over, Maddy accounted for Buttler - caught behind by Ambrose for 24 - and next over he had Peter Trego caught at slip as he attempted to drive.

Hildreth continued with his rich vein of form and took runs with ease and by the lunch interval the score had moved onto 236 for six.

Off the last ball of the first over after the break Hildreth went to his hundred when he pulled Maddy to the midwicket boundary.

This was the 25-year-old’s third Championship century of the season and came off 169 balls and included 12 fours.

Ben Phillips was out to the first ball of the next over, caught by keeper Ambrose off Rikki Clarke with the total on 240, which brought Alfonso Thomas to the wicket.

Over the course of the next 13 overs Thomas helped to add 50 runs for the eighth wicket before Hildreth was eventually dismissed on 131 when he top edged Boyd Rankin to long-leg.

There was no further addition to the Somerset score following Hildreth’s departure as Miller accounted for both Murali Kartik and Charl Willoughby in the same over and Somerset were dismissed for 290.

Miller was the pick of the Warwickshire attack, ending with 5-72 off his 22 overs, eight of which were maidens, while Maddy ended with 2-24 off his 14.

Facing a deficit of 163 batting for a second time, Warwickshire lost skipper Ian Westwood to the fifth ball of the innings when he top edged Willoughby to Phillips at fine-leg.

Maddy and Varun Chopra batted confidently and looked set to see the day out before both departed in quick succession.

In the 35th over with the total one run short of 100 Maddy was leg before to Kartik for 61, which came off 105 balls and included eight fours.

Six balls later with the score still on 99 Craig Kieswetter took a sharp chance off Chopra standing up to Phillips.

Clarke and Jim Troughton remained together until the close by which time the score had moved onto 111 for three.

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