Gloucestershire 13 for 4 (Davey 2-4, C. overton 2-9) trail Somerset 237 (Bartlett 100*, Payne 4-44, Higgins 4-72) by 224 runs
George Bartlett's fourth first-class century transformed Somerset's fortunes on a dramatic opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy match against Gloucestershire at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
The 22-year-old former England Under-19 batsman ended unbeaten on 100 as his side were bowled out for 237, having been 89 for 5 and 176 for 9 after losing the toss.
Bartlett's valiant innings occupied 143 balls and featured 17 fours. David Payne claimed 4 for 44 and Ryan Higgins 4 for 72, but a last-wicket stand of 61 between Bartlett and Jack Brooks frustrated the bowlers.
By the close, Gloucestershire had slumped to 13 for 4, Chris Dent and Graeme van Buuren falling to Craig Overton, and Ben Charlesworth and nightwatchman Josh Shaw to Josh Davey in the first seven overs.
The start of the day had seen Somerset plunge into trouble after visiting skipper Dent had elected to field, with threatening clouds gathering.
Left-arm seamer Payne, fresh from eight wickets in the previous game against Glamorgan, bowled Eddie Byrom for a duck with a fine delivery at the start of the third over.
With the total on 29, Somerset captain Tom Abell edged Shaw through to wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick, departing for 10, and at the end of a morning session interrupted for 40 minutes by a heavy shower, Somerset were 42 for 2.
Higgins grabbed an important scalp soon after the interval, pinning James Hildreth lbw for 13 and it was 57 for four when opener Tom Lammonby was well caught low at third slip by Tom Lace off the same bowler, having made 24.
Gloucestershire looked to be taking a firm grip when Steve Davies was caught down the leg-side by Roderick off Payne for 16 in the 35th over.
But Bartlett looked in better form than his team-mates from the outset and by tea he had moved confidently to 43, off 89 balls, looking particularly strong off the back-foot through the off-side.
Craig Overton provided support as batting began to look more comfortable under clearing skies and had contributed 32 to a stand of 75 when leg-before to Higgins with the total on 164 in the final session.
A clatter of wickets followed, Roelof van der Merwe edging Payne to George Hankins at second slip, Jamie Overton caught behind aiming a mighty swing off the same bowler and Davey taken at first slip by Dent off Higgins, having been dropped by Hankins the previous ball.
At 176 for 9, Somerset, whose top order batting had been fragile in previous games, looked in danger of ending their innings without a bonus point.
But Bartlett, whose half-century had occupied 109 balls, began to cut loose and found a reliable partner in Brooks, not for the first time providing valuable runs at number 11.
They should have been parted with the score on 195 when Hankins spilled another chance at second slip offered by Brooks off Matt Taylor.
Gloucestershire's fielding let them down as another chance offered by Brooks went begging and four overthrows contributed to the last-wicket stand.
Bartlett continued to punish anything short through the covers and point. A richly-deserved hundred was reached with a single to third-man off Taylor and the young batsman leapt to punch the air in celebration.
Brooks was caught at mid-off for 24 off the next delivery, but momentum was with Somerset and Craig Overton was quick to build on it by trapping Dent lbw for five in the third over of Gloucestershire's reply.
Charlesworth edged to second slip, van Buuren was caught behind and Shaw fell leg-before as the fiery Overton and accurate Davey threatened with virtually every ball.