JAMES Hildreth's first County Championship century of 2019 led Somerset to their highest innings score of the season, the hosts topping 400 on the opening day of their match with Hampshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

The 34-year-old amassed a classy knock of 105, coming off 129 balls and including 14 fours and a six - the maximum brought up his ton, having dispatched Mason Crane into the Priory Bridge Road car park.

Hildreth was well supported by the other Somerset batsman - a line-up which had failed to fire in defeat to Essex last week - as Tom Abell (82), Tom Banton (79) and George Bartlett (68) all posted half-centuries.

But having secured maximum batting points, the home side collapsed from 401-5 to 408 all out, as Kyle Abbott (6-84) ran through the tail.

Hampshire came in to bat for the final six overs of the evening, and the second of those saw Jamie Overton strike - Oliver Soames (0) caught behind.

The visitors ended the day on 15-1, trailing Somerset by 393 runs with nine wickets in hand.

Afterwards, Hildreth said: "The jury is still out on the pitch. At times when I was batting it seemed pretty flat, but our later batsmen may not agree.

"The ball was certainly swinging at times and at the end there it nipped about a bit for our bowlers.

"It's always nice to score a century. That is what I play the game for.

"Our top order know we haven't got enough runs this season and it goes with the territory that when that happens you get criticised. That's part of the game.

"With our bowling attack, I feel confident we have enough runs to push on and win this game."