Nottinghamshire will face trial by spin as Hampshire go on the attack in the County Championship.
The reigning champions arrive at the Rose Bowl this morning for a crucial showdown in the division one race for safety.
And last night they were given a glimpse of what lies in wait.
Live on TV, a young Royals outfit were played off the park by Durham in a Clydesdale Bank 40 group B clash.
The Dynamos triumphed by 81 runs on a wicket which took an alarming amount of spin from the word go.
It is the same deck the Rose Bowl groundstaff will roll out for the clash with the County Championship title holders this morning.
With Hampshire in danger of being cut adrift at the foot of the table, it is a wicket tailor-made for their attack.
And the type Shahid Afridi, Imran Tahir and Danny Briggs have tormented opponents on during the county’s march to the last eight of the Friends Life t20 competition.
Giles White admitted Tahir and Briggs – rested for last night’s match – will be the key men as the hosts fight for their maiden first-class triumph of the summer.
The first-team manager and skipper Dominic Cork also used the Durham clash to have a look at Liam Dawson and Michael Carberry, two men who could offer further spin options over the next four days.
‘It is a big game against Nottinghamshire,’ said White.
‘We will be on the same wicket as last night.
‘We saw some spin there and hopefully we can make the most of that over the next few days.
‘We didn’t expect to see that much turn but we go into the match with an idea of how the wicket plays and looking to do well.
‘This game could be very tight, similar to last week’s match against Sussex.
‘With the wicket spinning, we opted to give Michael Carberry and Liam Dawson a bowl last night.
‘We wanted to see Liam bowl, in particular.
‘And we rested Imran and Danny as they will be very important to us against Nottinghamshire.
‘Hopefully we can perform all the way through – bowl well and also get runs on the board.’
Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell last night revealed he may fight fire with fire and select off-spinner Graeme White alongside regular spin bowler Samit Patel.
Regardless, Hampshire will have to turn in a better batting display than they did against Durham.
The Dynamos posted 210 in their rain-reduced 34 overs – Michael Di Venuto (70) and Paul Collingwood (73) the star performers.
Duckworth & Lewis recalculated the target to 216 but it mattered not as – after a brief counter-attack from James Vince (13) and Jimmy Adams (24) – the battle rapidly petered out and Durham skittled their hosts for just 134.