James Vince continued his storming start to the season with another half-century on an evenly-contestested first day of the Championship clash at Leicestershire.
The 23-year-old hit 12 fours on his way to an 88-ball 70 as Hampshire reached stumps on day one on 321 for eight, while the recalled Adam Wheater added a quickfire 57 to boost the visitors’ total.
But Leicestershire’s Nathan Buck pegged the visitors back with four for 78 to ensure that the home side are well in the game going into day two.
Hampshire’s batting line-up was robbed of both Michael Carberry on England duty and Liam Dawson to the groin injury he suffered in the Natwest Blast T20 defeat to Glamorgan.
And that meant there was even more responsibility on Vince who stood up to the challenge and passed the 600-run barrier for the season with his latest knock.
Wheater came into the side as a specialist batsman, while there was also a first Championship appearance of the season for Danny Briggs.
Will Smith (35) was promoted to open the innings alongside skipper Jimmy Adams (40) and the pair made steady progress as they put on 75 for the first wicket before they both fell shortly before lunch.
After his elevation to number three in the order, Joe Gatting’s miserable run of form continued as he managed just six runs before he became Buck’s first victim.
But Vince and Wheater then put on 92 for the fourth wicket, while Sean Ervine (40) took Hampshire past the 200-mark.
Leicestershire gained the upper hand when Vince was bowled and Michael Bates was then caught at gully without scoring to leave Hampshire at 219 for six.
But the lower order rallied as Matt Coles added a useful 21 after his t20 efforts on Friday night, before Kyle Abbott (33 not out) and Briggs (14 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 22 to secure a third bonus point and reach the close of play.