Hildreth stars as Yorkshire stumble
A brilliant 68-ball century from James Hildreth guided Somerset to their first LV= County Championship win of the season and inflicted Yorkshire’s first defeat.
Set a target of 362 to win in a minimum of 68 overs, the home side skated to victory by six wickets with an amazing 5.2 overs to spare at Taunton, thanks to Hildreth’s brilliant 102 not out, 93 from Zander de Bruyn, Nick Compton’s 65 and 53 from Marcus Trescothick.
It was a case of history repeating itself - in the corresponding fixture last year, Somerset won after being set an even bigger target of 476 at a similar run rate of just over five an over.
Some declaration bowling from Compton and Hildreth allowed Yorkshire to close their second innings on 333 for four during the morning session after the captains had agreed to contrive a finish.
Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph profited from the friendly home attack and Rudolph was able to declare three quarters of an hour before lunch.
Somerset began cautiously and were 21 without loss off eight overs at lunch. They had progressed to 37 when Arul Suppiah had his off stump removed by Steven Patterson.
Trescothick was watchful in reaching his half-century off 77 balls and when he fell shortly afterwards, lofting Adil Rashid to David Wainwright at long-on, there was little sign of the fireworks to come.
Compton blossomed from a sketchy start to play his part with a 60-ball half-century before edging a leg-break from Rashid and being caught at point by Adam Lyth.
Then came the match-winning stand of 149 in 19 overs between de Bruyn and Hildreth, both making liberal use of the reverse sweep against the spinners.
The game was as good as won by the time de Bruyn was caught at long-off attempting to hit Wainwright over the ropes. The South African had faced 103 balls and hit 10 fours and a six.
But it was Hildreth who shone the brightest. The timing of his sweeps and reverse sweeps meant that even the increasing number of boundary fielders could not halt his rapid scoring rate.
By the end of the game he had faced 70 balls and also hit 10 fours and a six. Some exhilarating running between the wickets also characterised a memorable knock.
To cap a great day for Somerset, 19-year-old keeper Jos Buttler smashed 31 off 17 balls at the end, with three fours and two sixes.
Rashid’s bowling figures of 2-123 summed up Yorkshire’s demise in a game in they were in control for long periods, but ended up with six points to Somerset’s 21.