JAMES Hildreth’s eighth List A century and an elegant 94 from Steve Davies helped Somerset begin their defence of the Royal London One-Day Cup with a six-wicket victory over Derbyshire at Taunton on Sunday.

The visitors ran up 298 all out after losing the toss at the Cooper Associates County Ground, as Fynn Hudson-Prentice (93) and Brooke Guest (74) hit career-best List A scores, while 18-year-old seamer Sonny Baker claimed 3-46 on debut.

In reply, Somerset made 299-4, winning with two overs to spare.

Davies led the way with an imperious 72-ball innings, before Hildreth weighed in with 110, including nine fours and three sixes.

A crowd of well over 3,000 saw Derbyshire reduced to 36-3 early on, as Baker - a product of Devon age-group cricket - had Harry Came and Tom Wood caught behind in a five-over spell of 2-14, while Jack Brooks accounted for Billy Goldleman.

Guest and Hudson-Prentice exercised understandable caution and at the halfway stage of the innings had taken the score to 117-3.

Hudson-Prentice took advantage of anything short to reach an impressive half-century off 60 balls, while Guest cleverly picked gaps in the field to move to his fifty from 67 deliveries.

Their stand of 142 ended when Hudson-Prentice was caught and bowled by new Somerset One-Day captain Ben Green, having hit 10 fours and two sixes.

After Anuj Dal had been run out by Brooks, Guest was caught at cover off seamer Kasey Aldridge, who was making his List A debut, to make it 224-6.

Alex Thomson contributed 24 and last man Ravi Rampaul boosted Derbyshire’s score with three sixes off Green, before the last wicket fell in the final over.

Despite the early loss of debutant Sam Young, Somerset were soon in charge on a true pitch.

Davies took three fours off an over from Rampaul and, after George Bartlett's careless dismissal, Hildreth began well alongside him.

Davies moved to an effortless fifty off 46 balls, and the pair continued to flourish, bringing up a hundred partnership from 98 balls before Hildreth went to a typically attractive half-century off 62 deliveries.

Davies fell to a catch in the deep, having struck 12 fours and a six, but Hildreth brought up the 200 with a pulled six off Ben Aitcheson in the 35th over.

He found an equally positive partner in 20-year-old Lewis Goldsworthy, who celebrated his List A debut with a mature 57* off 66 balls.

Hildreth required treatment for cramp and batted with a runner in the later stages of his innings, but it didn’t stop him reaching three figures with a six over cover, before falling with just 23 needed.

Skipper Ben Green said afterwards: "That's one out of one for me as skipper, which is great!

"Sonny Baker showed what an amazing talent he is as a bowler and wicket-taker, and I thought we were exceptional in the second half of the game, with two very experienced one-day players in Hildy and Steve Davies controlling our run chase, before another talented youngster in Lewis Goldsworthy finished it off.

"When they put a big partnership together, we were looking down the barrel of 320-plus, so we were pretty happy to restrict them to 298 on a good pitch."

Somerset will be looking to make it two wins from two when they host Glamorgan on Wednesday (11am).