James Vince notched a brilliant century with his first innings of the season as Hampshire look set to start the 2013 season with crushing victory over Leicestershire.
With the home side posting an imposing 454 for seven, Hampshire then bowled their opponents out for just 143, enforcing the follow-on as James Tomlinson (four for 23) led the bowlers.
Leicestershire need to make at least 312 to even make Hampshire bat again.
And Vince, who hit a century in the last game of last season, admitted it was the perfect start to the season for him after a poor run of form cost him his place in the side last term.
He said: ‘It takes the pressure off a bit and going into my next innings, I will be going in with a lot more confidence than if I’d got nought.
‘I felt good over pre-season and hopefully I can carry that on.
‘Last year the wickets were pretty seamer-friendly for the first month, so scoring runs early and having that bit more confidence will definitely help.
‘I don’t think I need to answer any critics. People can write what they want or say what they want – I don’t think it’s going to affect me.
‘I’ve scored runs before but I just need to do it more consistently.’
Vince enjoyed a fine partnership of 104 with debutant wicketkeeper Adam Wheater (56 not out) – who ignored the discussion over his controversial ousting of Michael Bates to record a maiden half-century.
While his innings wasn’t a full vindication of the decision, it was certainly a start.
When Chris Wood (28) was dismissed at 454 for seven, Jimmy Adams decided he was happy with maximum batting points.
And his bowlers then set about a Leicestershire side who looked decidedly disinterested.
Tomlinson (four for 23) and Wood (three for 30) did most of the damage.
And on this evidence, if the weather plays ball, Hampshire will have a convincing victory in their season’s curtain-raiser.