Giles White praised his Hampshire batsmen for their fighting spirit as Warwickshire enjoyed the better of the opening day of the Championship clash.
With the Ageas Bowl outfit desperate for a victory to give them a shred of hope of climbing off the bottom of division one, the day got off to the worst possible start as they were reduced to four for two inside six overs.
Michael Carberry (36), Will Smith (43), Joe Gatting (43), Adam Wheater (57) and Gareth Berg (42 not out) all went on to make decent contributions .
But once again, nobody was able to go on to make a century as Hampshire reached stumps on day one at 255 for eight.
While it looks unlikely to be the kind of first-innings total that will put the visitors under real pressure, the club’s director of cricket was pleased with the efforts of the batting line-up.
White said: ‘I think the boys worked very hard.
‘We’ve got a score on a good wicket but credit must got to the Warwickshire bowlers. They are a good unit.
‘It was a high-quality bowling performance but we stuck in there.
‘That innings from Berg, coupled with the partneship between Wheater and Gatting has given us some hope.
‘If we can build on that, we are in a decent position.
‘We were missing the big score again but you can’t fault the effort.
‘They battled through but we’re lacking someone getting a big score and that’s been a bit of a trend over the season.’
Hampshire were indebted to their sixth-wicket pair of Wheater and Gatting, who added 92 after the innings had stumbled to 102 for five.
The top order has struggled for runs all season and Jimmy Adams, who has not passed 30 in an innings since May, went for a duck – the first of two early victims for Chris Woakes.
James Vince (one) was then caught at first slip in Woakes’ next over to leave the hosts in early trouble.
Carberry and Smith reached lunch without further loss but just 61 runs came in a tough morning session.
Both men were gone soon after the restart and they were up against it when Liam Dawson (seven) was pinned lbw by Rikki Clarke.
Warwickshire’s progress was held up by Wheater and Gatting but the wicketkeeper – one of just two centurions for Hampshire all season – fell to a gully catch by Laurie Evans to give Boyd Rankin his third wicket.
Australian Jackson Bird (three) then departed soon after Warwickshire took the new ball.
But as Hampshire wobbled again at 214 for eight Berg and Mason Crane rallied in the final hour with a handy 44-run partnership.
DIVISION ONE Hampshire v Warwickshire at the Ageas Bowl. Hampshire won the toss and elected to bat. Day one.
MA Carberry c Ambrose b Rankin 36
JHK Adams lbw b Woakes 0
JM Vince c Chopra b Woakes 1
WR Smith c Patel b Rankin 43
JS Gatting c Chopra b Patel 43
LA Dawson lbw b Clarke 7
AJA Wheater c Evans b Rankin 57
GK Berg not out 42
JM Bird c Ambrose b Barker 3
MS Crane not out 12
Extras (b 8, lb 3) 11 Total (8 wickets; 96 overs) 255
FoW 1-2, 2-4, 3-78, 4-85, 5-102, 6-194, 7-198, 8-214
Bowling: KHD Barker 22-7-50-1; CR Woakes 13-6-19-2;
WB Rankin 19-6-45-3; R Clarke 20-6-52-1;
JS Patel 22-3-78-1