Hampshire suffered more batting woe as they were crushed by seven wickets in their latest CB40 clash with Durham.
Despite the welcome return of all-rounder Dimi Mascarenhas, Giles White’s side failed to post a genuinely challenging target from their 40 overs as they were bowled out for 161 in the 38th over.
Benny Howell (66) was drafted in to open the innings alongside Jimmy Adams but the loss of Adams (eight) sparked another middle-order collapse as the Royals crumbled to 59 for four, with the Durham bowlers getting real movement off the pitch.
James Vince (two), Neil McKenzie (nine) and Sean Ervine (one) all trudged back as quickly as they had arrived with wickets falling at regular intervals.
But Liam Dawson (38) and Howell put on 68 for the fifth wicket to raise hopes of a total approaching 200.
When Dawson fell at 127 for five, Mascarenhas was asked to shoulder the burden of getting a decent target on the board.
But it says much that a man who has just returned from a year-long injury was required to drag his side out of trouble on his first game back.
And, it was too much to ask, as Mascarenhas (nine), Dominic Cork (six), Michael Bates (two) and Danny Briggs (one) failed to offer much resistance and the Royals were bowled out in the 38th over.
While it never looked like being enough, Mascarenhas briefly gave his side hope.
After an expensive couple of first overs, in which he picked up the wicket of Phil Mustard (seven) thanks to a fabulous slip catch from McKenzie, the former England man reduced Durham to 37 for three.
He bowled Kyle Coetzer (15) and then took care of dangerman Ben Stokes (five) thanks to a decent catch from Bates, who was deputising for Nic Pothas behind the stumps.
But from there, Hampshire just couldn’t find the breakthrough they needed.
Gordon Muchall (67 not out) and Dale Benkenstein (60 not out) put on 125 for the fourth wicket to see their side over the line with more than four overs to spare.
Hampshire return to action on Friday at home to Northamptonshire in another CB40 clash under lights at the Rose Bowl.
It’s fair to say that they need a performance and a victory.