Specsavers County Championship - day 3
Somerset 506 v Hampshire 231 & 178-2 

HAMPSHIRE fought back through James Vince and Hashim Amla, after Dom Bess contributed 92 runs to an impressive Somerset total of 506.

That gave the home side a first innings advantage of 275 runs, but after two quick wickets their bowlers were frustrated by the visitors' third-wicket partnership, who have given their side a fighting chance of rescuing a draw.

Resuming the day on 324-7 at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the hosts lost Jack Leach for 22, bowled by Fidel Edwards.

But James Hildreth moved on from his overnight 125 to reach 150 - the 15th time he has done so in First-Class cricket - off 203 balls, including 17 fours.

He was joined by Dom Bess, the spinner playing some fluent shots against a Hampshire attack struggling in the absence of the injured Kyle Abbott.

Bess moved onto his half-century off 61 balls, with 10 fours, before Hildreth fell in the last over before lunch, as he miscued a delivery from Tom Alsop and was caught by Brad Wheal.

Having been dropped on 25 yesterday, Hildreth's mammoth score of 184 came off 253 balls, with 22 fours.

The Hildreth-Bess stand of 145 runs broke the record for Somerset's highest ninth-wicket partnership against Hampshire, overtaking Jack White and Louis Powell's effort in 1934.

Tim Groenewald showed why he is regarded by the Somerset faithful as cricket's best number 11, helping himself to two fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 25, before Bess finally fell for an excellent 92 - bowled by Gareth Berg.

That meant the hosts were all out for 506, giving them maximum batting points and a lead of 275 runs.

Berg was the pick of the visiting attack, with 5-130 off 34.1 overs.

On the hunt for early wickets, Somerset tasted success in the fifth over, as Lewis Gregory had Jimmy Adams (11) caught behind by Steve Davies to leave the visitors 15-1.

Joe Weatherley was also out for 11, caught at square leg by George Bartlett off Tim Groenewald, and Hampshire limped into tea at 70-2.

But Vince and Amla are both dangerous players to have coming in, and they were not to be moved - despite Tom Abell, Leach and Bess all entering the attack for the hosts.

Vince survived a difficult chance of a catch, Craig Overton's dive not quite securing the England batsman's scalp, and from there both he and Amla went on to make half-centuries.

At the close of play Vince had reached 63no and Amla 86no, taking Hampshire up to 178-2, 97 runs behind Somerset's total going into the fourth day of the match.