THE arrival of mid-afternoon rain confirmed the inevitable draw in Hampshire’s County Championship division one match at Durham today.
After resuming 60 ahead on nine without loss, the visitors opted for safety at Chester-le-Street as Jimmy Adams took 171 balls to score 49.
They were 174 for four, leading by 225, when rain ended play, leaving Hampshire still at the foot of the table.
Nonetheless coach Dale Benkenstein remains hopeful of survival, noting his side’s improvement in recent performances.
He said: ‘All the batsmen are looking in good touch and that was also probably the best we have been in the field this season.
‘For the last few games we have been doing the basics right and giving 100 per cent, which hasn’t always been the case.
‘Staying in division one is a massive priority but we don’t produce bowlers and it’s the best bowling sides who tend to finish at the top.’
Hampshire were not so desperate for a win that they were prepared to take risks, scoring 85 in the morning session for the loss of two wickets.
Graham Onions improved on his first innings efforts but had to be content with the wicket of Will Smith halfway through his one-hour testing spell.
The acting captain fell for 10 when he pushed forward and edged behind, but while Adams contined to dig in Tom Alsop played fluently for 34.
On 14 he edged Keaton Jennings’ fourth ball just wide of the slips, but it was a surprise that Jennings was on before Scott Borthwick.
The leg-spinner had plenty of rough to bowl into outside the left-handers’ off stump and in his third over Alsop left one which turned sharply to bowl him.
Hampshire were 200 ahead with seven wickets standing and 42 overs left when Adams edged a drive off Paul Coughlin for Ben Stokes to take the catch at slip.
Michael Carberry made 55 before a shooter from Barry McCarthy bowled him shortly before the rain arrived.