Twin hundreds leads Somerset comeback
Hampshire 512 Somerset 441 for 6
England Under-19 international Jos Buttler's maiden first-class century pushed Somerset to within 71 runs of Hampshire's first-innings total but the County Championship clash at the Rose Bowl looks to be heading to a stalemate.
Buttler finished the day unbeaten on 105 after sharing a fifth-wicket stand of 105 with James Hildreth (106) to hold together the Somerset middle order as Hampshire smelt a collapse and the possibility of a first win of the season.
The dismissals of Marcus Trescothick and Arul Suppiah in the final session of yesterday's play appeared to give Hampshire the momentum to make their way through the Somerset order.
But Zander de Bruyn was the only wicket to fall before lunch as his off stump was uprooted by David Griffiths, the pick of the Hampshire attack ending the day on four for 94.
Hildreth needed only 63 balls to reach his half-century on a very playable Rose Bowl track which made for some delicate shot selection by the 25-year-old. Liam Dawson, in bowling his first overs in the County Championship this season, was aghast after lunch as Neil McKenzie dropped Hildreth while fielding at first slip with the batsman on a relatively modest 57.
The following over though Hampshire had signs of a breakthrough in bizarre circumstances as Nick Compton (49) was run out chasing a second single. Griffiths' direct hit failed to knock over the bails on the first attempt but as the ball ricocheted to Dawson the two batsmen were indecisive and the young Hampshire all-rounder's throw to Rangana Herath made sure of the dismissal.
Despite that setback Hildreth progressed to his highest score of the season, eclipsing his 99 against Lancashire last week, by pulling Sean Ervine for the 12th four of his innings. Hildreth lasted until the third over after tea as he was removed cutting a short Griffiths' delivery to James Tomlinson on the boundary.
But teenager Buttler took on the mantle to keep the runs flowing and after losing partner Peter Trego (35) to Griffiths, claimed his hundred off 188 balls with 11 fours and one six. Buttler's previous highest score was just 36 with the 19-year-old deputising for England's Craig Kieswetter in the Somerset line-up.