Hampshire’s hopes of kicking off the new Championship campaign with victory already look to be slim as they came out distinctly second best on day two of their clash with Gloucestershire.
While David Balcombe picked up where he left off on the opening day to claim career-best bowling figures of eight for 71, the rest of the Hampshire bowling attack failed to fire in worrying style.
Balcombe led the charge to with a fine performance that also registered the best bowling figures at the Rose Bowl, beating Alan Mullally’s eight for 90 against Warwickshire in 2001.
But a lack of support at the other end allowed the visitors to post 314 all out in their first innings – with opener Chris Dent completing a fine 114 to put his side in command at the midway point in the contest.
By most estimates, the Gloucestershire total was between 50 and 100 runs too many for a side who were brushed aside by an innings in their opening fixture against Essex.
But in reply, Hampshire’s batsmen also made their traditional slow start to the season, with only Simon Katich (74) making anything like a sizeable contribution with a fluent innings that was not in keeping with the rest of the batting line-up’s efforts.
Opener Liam Dawson (34) was the only other man to make an impression as Hampshire closed day two on 182 for seven and requiring something special over the weekend to drag themselves back into contention.