Giles White admits he is encouraged by Hampshire’s improved County Championship performance – despite seeing his side’s search for a first victory denied by Sussex.
The visitors successfully batted out the final day’s play as the game petered out into another tame Rose Bowl draw.
Sussex batsman Luke Wells (100) proved to be the major obstacle in pursuit of an unlikely win, even though Danny Briggs chipped in with another four wickets.
Sussex started the final day 42 runs behind but even though Ed Joyce became Briggs’ first victim to leave the visitors 32 for one, the necessary clatter of wickets never materialised and Sussex eventually closed on 254 for six.
Considering the club’s poor start to the season, it was a decent foundation for improvement.
But another worry must be the number of draws at the Rose Bowl, especially with this one looking like a stalemate from the start on such a good batting track.
Hampshire have recorded just one Championship victory on their home track in each of the past two seasons, which hardly helps their quest to become county champions.
In fact, the Rose Bowl has yielded just three home championship wins since 2007, with eight defeats and a staggering 19 draws during the same period.
The Hampshire manager, however, was delighted to see some men rediscover their form ahead of this week’s trip to Yorkshire.
White said: ‘I was pleased with the way the team played.
‘There were far more people contributing and there were a lot of positives in the game.
‘Unfortunately, we didn’t get a win but it was a very solid draw and we can take a lot from the game.
‘If we had made early inroads on the final day, there was a chance of a win because the wicket was deteriorating.
‘But we needed to put pressure on to get early wickets, let Danny Briggs bowl into the rough to left-handers and the other bowlers to hit good lengths.
‘Sussex did a good job keeping us out and we weren’t able to get the wickets we needed.’
James Vince and Johann Myburgh played themselves into form with the bat, while Briggs continues to shine with the ball.
White said: ‘Briggs bowled well and got another four wickets.
‘He has been very good since the start of the season, he’s got wickets and has given us control so we’re pleased with the way he’s going.
‘It was also encouraging to see Myburgh and Vince get runs at a very important time, while Cork continues to get good runs down the order.
‘The key to the team is to have more people contributing and that happened in this game.’