JAMES Hildreth scored his first half-century since 2019 as Somerset batted throughout the first day of their pre-season match against Gloucestershire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The hosts had 251-7 on the board going into today's second and final day of the warm-up fixture, having won the toss and opted to bat first.

Last week's match against Worcestershire had seen Somerset lose four wickets inside the first five overs of their first innings, but here Eddie Byrom and Ben Green patiently made their way to 39, at which point Green (15) was trapped lbw by Josh Shaw.

Byrom (37) and Tom Lammonby (31) took the home side up to 73-1 at lunch, but both batsmen departed soon after the interval, and it was 84-3.

George Bartlett (14) and Steve Davies (4) helped Hildreth take Somerset up past the 100 mark, and Craig Overton stayed around through to tea, with the score now 159-5.

Overton reached 33 before departing, meaning that it was Lewis Goldsworthy out in the middle when Hildreth - who had struggled for form in 2020 before a hamstring injury ended his season prematurely - got to his 50 (from 92 balls, with 10 fours).

Jack Taylor was the bowler to end Hildreth's stay, as a catch by George Hankins send him on his way for 56, leaving Somerset on 206-7.

That was the last wicket to fall on the day, as Goldsworthy (18*) and Roelof van der Merwe (35*) stayed together through to the finish.

David Payne (2-18 off 15 overs) and Shaw (2-45 off 15) were the pick of the Gloucestershire bowlers.

The visitors will have their turn to bat today, with play due to get under way at 11am.