Danny Briggs surveyed a difficult start to Hampshire’s season and admitted: It could have been even worse.
Durham kicked off the four-day clash at the Rose Bowl in style after winning the toss and batting on a pitch that looked more like a parched August deck than an April green seamer.
While Dale Benkenstein (118) led the Durham charge, Briggs was the cricketing equivalent of the boy with his finger in the dam as he grabbed four for 127 to at least limit the visitors’ dominance.
And while 413 for six is an imposing score at the end of day one, Briggs knows Hampshire could have found themselves in an even tougher position.
He said: ‘In patches we bowled well and in patches we went for too many runs and that’s why they have got more than 400.
‘They had a lot of starts and it could have been a lot worse.
‘We got some wickets at crucial times with players well in.
‘To get Benkenstein was important. He could have gone on and got a really big score, so we were pleased to see the back of him.
‘There’s no reason not to do well in this game.
‘It was always going to be tough when we lost the toss but we need to bowl well early on today and then start getting a good score.
‘It’s a pretty decent pitch for April. We just have to hang in there and see what happens.’
The 19-year-old already has a greater air of confidence about him after his winter tour with the England Lions.
With Imran Tahir sidelined for the first part of the season through injury, Briggs carries Hampshire’s main spin threat.
And he was delighted to get up and running for the new term.
‘It was a nice start,’ said the Newport-born slow left-armer.
‘All the batsmen tried to attack me but that gives you more chance of getting them out.
‘There wasn’t a lot of spin there but there was a bit of rough starting to develop.
‘I’m happy with four wickets. The tour has given me a lot of confidence and match preparation.
‘Now it’s a case of the more overs, the better. I’m certainly not tired.’