Rogers hits century on return to Lord's
Somerset 219 for 2 (Rogers 104*, Hildreth 60*) v Middlesex
Chris Rogers enjoyed himself hugely on his return to Lord's as he scored 104 not out against his former county to guide Somerset to 219 for 2 on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Middlesex at Lord's.
Former Australian Test opener Rogers, who made 4,812 runs at an average of 50.12 in four seasons at Middlesex from 2011 to 2014, the last two as captain, was joined by James Hildreth in an unbroken third wicket stand of 125 in 44 overs. Play ended 16 overs early due to bad light and rain.
Hildreth made an unbeaten 60 after Rogers had been initially joined Tom Abell in a hard-working second wicket stand of 85 in 30 overs against disciplined bowling after the early loss of Marcus Trescothick.
Trescothick, playing his 600th first-class innings in his 350th match, was leg-before for 8 propping half-forward in the sixth over when Toby Roland-Jones straightened one back up the slope.
The impressive Roland-Jones followed up a new ball spell of 8-4-10-1 by returning immediately after the interval to tempt opener Abell into a loose drive and have him caught at the wicket for a 109-ball 41. So far Roland-Jones has 2 for 33 from 16 overs.
From 94 for 2, however, Rogers and Hildreth took the game away from Middlesex's bowlers on another excellent Lord's pitch. This was a typical Rogers innings, accumulative in his familiar crabby style but also including some top-class strokes, especially the square cut and off drive.
It was his 74th first-class hundred, fourteen of which came in the 60 first-class matches he played in Middlesex colours, and he clearly relished batting against his former team-mates after winning the toss to secure first use of a placid surface. It was his first century for Somerset, his fifth county.
Abell, the 22-year-old opener, also did a valuable job for his side - especially early on against the pace and accuracy of Roland-Jones, against whom he clipped one beautiful boundary past mid wicket's left hand. There was also a perfectly-struck offside four when he advanced one or two steps down the pitch to drive Ollie Rayner's off spin through extra cover.
He had batted for two hours and 20 minutes, hitting six fours, when Roland-Jones drew him into a rare false stroke but that was as good as it got on day one for Middlesex who, like Somerset, are still searching for a first Championship win of the season after five straight draws.
Rogers only had a few alarms, surviving a big appeal for lbw by James Franklin when he had made 66 and, on 91, playing and missing when he aimed a drive at James Harris. He reached his hundred from 201 balls, in four and three-quarter hours, and has so far hit nine fours.
Hildreth's fifty took him 118 balls, and he took his cue from his captain in playing very much within himself as the partnership built. In all, Hildreth has faced 144 balls, hitting five fours, and his championship run-tally for the season now stands at 471 at 78.50 - with power to add.