HAMPSHIRE battled to an expected draw against Worcestershire as their rain-affected LV County Championship season began in frustration at the Ageas Bowl.
Visiting captain Daryl Mitchell notched the first ton of the new division two season as he scored a magnificent 172 not out at the top of the order, helping his side pick up four batting bonus points before declaring on 350 for seven.
That gave Worcestershire a first-innings lead of 87, but with less than a session to go in a match badly hit by the weather, a draw was always the most likely outcome.
The visitors did make an early breakthrough to briefly make things interesting, Mitchell again involved as he caught former England opener Michael Carberry for six off Moeen Ali as Hampshire slipped to 10 for one.
Although it mattered little, Carberry will have been disappointed not to have made a higher score, following his first-innings duck.
However, that was as good as it got for Mitchell’s men as Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams (10 not out) and Liam Dawson (11 not out) ensured the hosts suffered no further setbacks as they reached 27 for one off 17 overs, at which point the two teams shook hands on a draw.
A positive result for either side always looked unlikely with rain washing out all but 8.5 overs on the opening two days.
Hampshire, who finished four points ahead of Worcestershire, in division two last season, took nine points from the match, while the visitors took 12.