Hampshire coach Craig White has not given up hope of a remarkable victory over Yorkshire on day four of their County Championship division one clash at Headingley.
The home side lead by 314 runs with five second-innings wickets remaining after a rain-affected third day.
A superb 134 not out from Adam Lyth put Yorkshire in the box seat before the umpires abandoned Thursday’s play at 2.30pm.
But White reckons his side will still push for victory, particularly now their division one status has been rubber-stamped by Worcestershire’s defeat at Essex.
The former Yorkshire and England all-rounder said: ‘Avoiding relegation is great news.
‘The past few years we’ve been coming into the last game of the season in a massive relegation battle.
‘With one game left, knowing we’re safe is a great feeling. It’s quite a relief actually.
‘We haven’t been at our best in this game compared to the last couple, where we were very good.
‘We’ve just been a little bit inconsistent but the pitch is flattening out, so we were thinking 300 to 320 might be a decent chase.
‘We’ll see what we get tomorrow weather-wise. But the pitch is still pretty good and if we bat well, we might have a chance of getting the runs.’
Opener Lyth, 30, advanced from 60 overnight to bring up his 23rd first-class century as Yorkshire moved from 172 for four to 287 for five at lunch.
Jonny Tattersall, who added 43, was the only wicket to fall – caught by Jimmy Adams off the bowling of Liam Dawson (three for 85).
Hampshire batsman-keeper Tom Alsop suffered a suspected fracture and ligament damage to a finger, with substitute Aneurin Donald taking the gloves.
And Donald had a morning to forget as he dropped by Tattersall (on 16) and Lyth (on 80 and 94) in a frustrating spell behind the stumps.
Rain arrived during the interval and no further play was possible, with the hosts still needing victory to make certain of their own survival.
Click here for the full scorecard from Hampshire’s penultimate County Championship fixture of the summer.