MIDDLESEX'S Sam Robson took full advantage of a dropped catch to punish Somerset with a big score on the opening day of the county cricket season at Lord's.

James Hildreth will be disappointed not to have held on to the ball at slip, with Robson on 23 at the time.

The opener went on to plunder 165 runs, putting the hosts in control of the LV= County Championship fixture, before the visitors fought back well in the evening to reduce their opponents to 293-8 at the close.

Somerset began the day by naming a team that featured Marchant de Lange, making his competitive debut, with Jack Leach providing the spin bowling option alongside seamers De Lange, Tom Abell, Josh Davey, Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton.

They won the toss and opted to field first, but Robson gave an indication of what was to come by driving Overton to the boundary off the very first delivery of the match.

Overton made the breakthrough in his second over, however, having Max Holden (4) caught at square leg by Tom Banton.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

BREAKTHROUGH: Craig Overton was the first Somerset player to take a wicket in this 2021 county cricket season (pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Davey thought he had Robson soon after, only for the catch to be put down, although he did account for Nick Gubbins (21) to leave the hosts 62-2.

The Somerset attack lacked the sharpness which had seen it decimate teams in last season's Bob Willis Trophy, and Robson and Stevie Eskinazi (22) pushed their side into three figures.

Gregory had Eskinazi plumb lbw at 142-3, then Leach dismissed Robbie White (17) and Davey had Martin Andersson (8) caught behind, but Robson was starting to look unstoppable as he reached his century and then 150.

At 254-5, things looked bleak for the visitors, before some deadly new ball bowling from Gregory hauled them back into it.

John Simpson (11) was the first victim in his three-wicket burst, before Robson finally succumbed for a magnificent 165 (off 263 balls, with 25 fours) as Abell made the catch, and Tom Helm (9) followed - Hildreth holding on this time.

The score was 293-8 at the close, with Toby Roland-Jones (19*) and Ethan Bamber (2*) at the crease, while Gregory ended the day with figures of 4-54 off 17 overs, Davey 2-62 off 18 and Leach a tidy 1-43 off 22.