A brilliant last-wicket stand between Chris Wood and David Balcombe was not enough to save Hampshire from spinning to Championship division two defeat against lowly Leicestershire.
Wood hit a fabulous unbeaten 105 for his maiden career century, while Balcombe also blasted a career-best 73 in a final-wicket partnership worth 168 – just 24 runs short of the club’s highest-ever 10th-wicket stand which has stood since 1921.
Another limp batting display from the promotion-chasers left them staring at a heavy defeat when they were reduced to 146 for nine on the morning of the final day’s play, despite Liam Dawson’s patient 49.
But Wood then decided he had nothing to lose and smashed 15 fours and two sixes in his 88-ball knock, while Balcombe got in on the act with nine fours and two sixes in an extraordinary counter-attack.
Hampshire eventually got to within 126 runs but Balcombe was then finally dismissed by Nathan Buck to put a dent in the club’s promotion hopes.
But it underlined the paltry efforts of the recognised batsmen that Wood and Balcombe’s scores accounted for well over half of the second-innings’ total.