Michael Carberry admitted his relief at finding some fluency with the bat, as Hampshire claimed a late victory against Loughborough University.
The students came close to hanging on for a gutsy draw, but were eventually bowled out for 248, within touching distance of the close of play.
James Vince (five for 41) was the unlikely hero with the ball, picking up the first five-wicket haul of his first-class career with his medium-pacers – having taken his maiden wicket on Wednesday.
But while Jimmy Adams’ side will be pleased they finished the job as Vince and Liam Dawson claimed the final two wickets just minutes before the close of play, the bigger picture was that one of their key batsmen Carberry played himself back into form following a patchy start to the season after hammering 118 in the second innings.
And that bodes well for the club’s second Championship fixture of the season next week when they host Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl.
Carberry said: ‘It’s been a tricky pre-season. I haven’t been at my best and I didn’t start very well against Leciestershire – I got a good ball early on.
‘So going into this game, I wasn’t full of confidence but it was nice to get some runs and, more importantly, spend some time in the middle.
‘I’ve been doing a lot of extra sessions behind the scenes with Giles White to try to get some fluency.
‘But net practice is net practice so it’s nice when it comes off in a game.
‘I just tried to impose myself. I didn’t really worry about my technique and just pretty much threw caution to the wind. It was very pleasing but it’s a work in progress and there will be tougher challenges ahead. But it’s good to get the season off and running.’
Vince’s efforts with the ball saw him strike twice in two balls at one stage.
Gavin Baker (52) and Dimiitri Ratnayake (41) put on a frustrating seventh-wicket partnership of 77.
But Hampshire eventually wrapped up the win by 155 runs.