Jimmy Adams is prepared to risk losing the Championship clash with Kent going for a win as he insisted: It’s worth a gamble.
The Hampshire skipper conducted on-field negotiations with opposite number Geraint Jones in a bid to set up a final-day showdown between the sides and avoid yet another bore draw.
Rain accounted for the morning session at the Ageas Bowl to take out some crucial time from the game.
But after Kent declared on 321 for seven – 134 runs behind – Hampshire are expected to set a victory target of around 320 to chase in 80 overs or so with both sides desperate for a win.
Adams explained: ‘There has been a realisation that the draw points don’t really get you anywhere.
‘The table is flat in some ways. Northants are out in front but even if we come out on the wrong side of this game, it’s only three points lost.
‘We would still go into the Gloucestershire game next week in a half-decent place going into the second half of the year.
‘So I feel it’s three points worth gambling, for sure.
‘It is worth the risk. Wins are what move you up the table really quickly – it doesn’t work with draws.
‘There is always a case of wanting to set a team a big target in a long time but it doesn’t always work that way.
‘Both teams want the best for their group but hopefully we have come to a reasonably fair chase.’
With former England wicketkeeper Jones out in the middle batting during discussions, it was probably not an ideal scenario as the skippers tried to hammer out the details.
Adams smiled: ‘We both had an idea that if they did get past the follow-on of 306, there had to be a declaration from there to kick the game on, otherwise it would have petered out.
‘I think both teams spoke among themselves at tea as the follow-on target became closer.
‘Then as we came out after tea, he (Jones) said “assuming we get to the follow-on, what are you thoughts?”. It went from there, really.
‘We ummed and aahed for about 10 overs, which is not too bad for me given how indecisive I can be!
‘But too much cricket has been ruined by weather and hopefully we can have a good final day.
‘I nipped off to talk it over with Chalks (Giles White) but it was even tougher for Jonesie – he was out there on his tod and his team-mates were back in the dressing room, although a few messages came out to him.
‘We are well aware it will be a hard day’s work but we are prepared for that.
‘I think there is a good chance for a win for both sides.’