Simon Katich admits Hampshire’s hopes of avoiding defeat are slim but insisted: We won’t give it up yet.
The Australian stand-in skipper saw his troops come out decidedly second best on day three at Northamptonshire.
Ahead of the final day of the Championship clash, the home side raced into a 240-run lead.
After Hampshire were bowled out for 154 in their first innings, the home side reached 176 for five.
And today promises to be a real test of the visitors’ character as they bid to stave off a defeat.
With Northamptonshire expected to set 300 before declaring, it will be a major feat if Hampshire can bat out the draw with their chances of a win looking unlikely.
Katich said: ‘We haven’t given up hope but we will have to bat very, very well on the final day.
‘It’s not the easiest track to bat on while they have got a lot of runs on the board already.
‘There is still a lot to play for.
‘You don’t give wins away easily and we’re certainly not out of it yet, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.
‘It was a pretty disappointing day.
‘To give up a 60-odd run deficit and then to go for about 110 runs in the final session, when the game was in the balance, is disappointing as well.
‘To be honest, it was disappointing all round with bat and ball.’
Hampshire’s problems with the bat reared their head again.
They were bowled out cheaply – something Katich felt was down to a lack of application among most of the batsmen.
He said: ‘Chris Wood and James Vince applied themselves and put on a good partnership but that was the thing that we lacked elsewhere.
‘We had a decent start in the first hour and then lost a batch of wickets which put us on the back foot.
‘We never really strung any partnerships together after that.’
And the team’s bowling also failed to fire during the second Northamptonshire innings as the lead was stretched.
Katich added: ‘I don’t think we bowled patiently enough.
‘We spoke about that and talked about trying to shut the scoreboard down a bit for the first hour or so.
‘But we didn’t really do that.
‘We didn’t build up enough pressure.
‘They put the pressure back on us.
‘They have given themselves a chance to dictate terms while we’re playing catch-up.
‘But we took five wickets for 30 runs in the first innings.
‘There is no reason why we can’t do that again.’