Jimmy Adams’ superb century overshadowed a debut innings of 93 from Bilal Shafayat as Hampshire finally got their clash with Derbyshire under way.
After the first two days of the County Championship match were washed out, play on the third day began on time.
And visiting skipper Wayne Madsen had no hesitation in fielding first on a green-tinged wicket at the Ageas Bowl.
But by the end of an uninterrupted day, the hosts had showed there was nothing to fear from the pitch by compiling 352 for eight from 96 overs, with Adams making 122.
The captain had been forced to miss the previous two division two matches for personal reasons.
But the left-handed opener made up for lost time with the 14th century of his first-class career.
Adams faced 216 balls and hit 17 fours before being run out by a direct throw from Madsen as the prelude to Hampshire falling away from a bright and productive start.
After losing opening partner Liam Dawson to a catch at second slip off Tony Palladino in the 13th over, Adams dominated the bowling with former Notts batsman Shafayat.
The pair put on 164 runs in 39 overs for the second wicket as the unbeaten leaders began to regret fielding first.
Shafayat has been signed on a short-term contract after two summers with the Hants’ second team, and has not played first-class cricket in England since July 2010.
But he was in sight of his century when he chased a wide delivery from Jon Clare and wicketkeeper Tom Poynton took a tumbling catch to his right.
Shafayat hit 17 fours in his 119-ball innings and was clearly annoyed at the shot which led to his dismissal seven runs short of his century.
Left-arm spinner David Wainwright accounted for Simon Katich and James Vince.
And when Adams went, Hants were 279 for five.
Palladino returned to remove Sean Terry and Clare got his second wicket of the day when he bowled Michael Bates.
But the Hampshire tail were in no mood to waste the sunshine.
Fit-again Kabir Ali and David Balcombe added a further 28 runs in the last 30 minutes of the day to ensure that Adams’ side finished in a dominant position.
But with only one day remaining, the chance of a positive result will depend on generous declarations as the away team go in search of their third win of the season.