Youth led the way as impressive knocks from James Vince and Michael Bates helped Hampshire seize control of their pre-season friendly with Loughborough MCCU.
The home-grown pair shared a fifth-wicket stand of 135 as Vince motored to a classy ton on day one of the three-day curtain-raiser at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.
The 21-year-old batsman was eventually trapped leg before wicket for 128, while wicketkeeper Bates was dismissed seven runs short of his maiden first-class century.
Bates, 20, showed plenty of determination in his 160-ball 93, which smashed his previous best of 58 and helped Hampshire reach 445 for seven at stumps.
With the experience of Michael Lumb, Dominic Cork, Nic Pothas and Simon Jones all leaving the club at the end of last season, the onus is on the side’s young guns to lead the charge in division two of the County Championship this term.
And the early indications are good, with another pair of budding talents notching unbeaten half-centuries before the close.
Sean Terry, son of former Hampshire batsman and first-team boss Paul Terry, made an eye-catching 59 not out on his first-class debut.
And joining him to compile an unbroken partnership of 66 was Hamza Riazuddin.
The all-rounder’s 42-ball 55 – which included nine fours and one six – put a gloss on a day which started in worrying fashion.
Liam Dawson, Michael Carberry and skipper Jimmy Adams (11) all fell cheaply as the hosts stuttered to 25 for three against the students.
Sean Ervine (40) began the rebuild, though, before Vince and Bates took charge.