Will Smith’s half-century helped Hampshire to 231 for five on a weather-affected first day against Derbyshire at the County Ground.
Smith made 70 in the County Championship division two clash before losing his wicket late in the day.
Derbyshire’s bowlers were made to work hard for their rewards against Jimmy Adams & Co, who are unbeaten and top the early table after victory at Gloucestershire last week.
Opener Michael Carberry’s 45 had got the visitors going, while Liam Dawson contributed 39.
The start of play was delayed by morning rain in Derby, leading to the hosts putting Hampshire in to bat after winning the toss.
Carberry was unaffected by any lingering damp as he found the boundary repeatedly while Adams largely kept watch at the other end.
With 43 runs on the board, Adams had contributed only five when he offered a chance – flicking Tim Groenwald’s delivery just short of Mark Footitt at square leg.
He went moments later, adding only two further runs before he was caught down the leg side by Richard Johnson – prompting a sliding celebration from bowler Mark Turner.
Carberry then edged Turner through the slips while on 45 and he had not added to his score before being trapped leg before wicket by Tony Palladino – leaving the visitors 57 for two.
James Vince and Dawson steered them through to lunch at 64 for two but the weather drew in once again after the interval and more time was lost to bad light.
They resumed just before 3pm with the score on 80 for two and now it was Vince who took the initiative, hitting six boundaries before being trapped in front by Groenwald for 30 and with the score on 100 for three.
That brought Smith to the crease and he soon offered a chance, hitting the ball straight to Footitt who immediately aimed for the stumps.
A direct hit would have removed Smith but the ball whistled past.
The former Durham batsman soon settled down and Hampshire coped with the introduction of Wes Durston’s spin to reach tea at 145 for three.
Smith was lucky again on 33 when a bottom edge off Footitt just missed the stumps and again a wicket immediately followed.
But this time it was Dawson who went, bowled by a fine delivery from Footitt with the score 164 for four.
Smith soon brought up his half century – 51 off 106 balls – but there were still signs of encouragement for Derbyshire.
Joe Gatting was put down by the diving Durston in the slips on 14 and then flicked a Groenwald delivery just wide of Shivnarine Chanderpaul on 19.
There was just time for Derbyshire to claim the big wicket – with Smith pulling Chesney Hughes to short midwicket – before play was brought to an end by further bad light.