Giles White is refusing to give up on promotion despite seeing Hampshire draw yet another Championship match.
A placid St Lawrence pitch dictated his side’s division two clash with Kent, resulting in a dull draw in Canterbury yesterday.
The result – Hampshire’s sixth draw from their 10 Championship contests this season – dealt another blow to their hopes of promotion.
However, despite his side now sitting 38 points behind second-placed Northants in the table, White still believes promotion is possible, especially as their run-in includes back-to-back matches against leaders Lancashire and Northants in the final month of the season.
The Hampshire manager said: ‘With that double header and four other games to come there’s certainly scope to get those points.
‘We’ve got work to do and will have to play good cricket but a couple of wins in a row can make a big difference.
‘There’s still a lot of cricket to be played.’
After four days of slow scoring on a docile wicket that led to the loss of only 23 wickets and three centuries, the sides shook hands on a draw at 4.50pm yesterday, with Hampshire on 200 for four in their second innings – an overall advantage in the match of 92 runs.
White’s men, trailing by 108 on first innings and resuming on their overnight total of 15 without loss, had little or no trouble in batting out the final day to secure a seven-point return.
As for Kent, who have yet to win on home soil, they banked eight points for their seventh draw in 11 starts.
The hosts knew they would need quick wickets at the start of the final day if they were to push for their second successive championship win, but they needed 14 overs before celebrating their first breakthrough.
With the total on 45, Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams (12) made a late decision to shoulder arms to England off-spinner James Tredwell and departed leg before.
Former Kent opener Michael Carberry moved to his second half-century of the game by pulling a Sam Northeast long-hop for four to reach the landmark from 133 balls and with eight fours.
The left-hander perished 16 runs on, however, when he edged behind to give Tredwell the second of his return of three for 87.
Liam Dawson, who also scored a first innings 50, proved rock-solid second time around in scoring an unbeaten 78 off 166 balls.
He lost third-wicket partner James Vince (four) to a top-edged sweep that ballooned to Rob Key at leg slip – then Sean Ervine (12) who, in attempting a back-foot force against Charlie Shreck, picked out only Darren Stevens close in at gully.
Dawson and Adam Wheater batted through the 50 minutes after tea without further alarm allowing the teams to shake hands on the stalemate.