Joe Weatherley lauded Hampshire’s lower-order batsmen as they looked to have salvaged the Ageas Bowl outfit at least a draw against Surrey in County Championship division one.
Late half-centuries from Gareth Berg (80) and Ian Holland (51), as well as invaluable runs from Kyle Abbott (37 not out) and Fidel Edwards (20) steered Hampshire to a respectable first-innings total of 290 after a poor showing from the top order.
The hosts then picked up four wickets in Surrey’s second innings with the visitors finishing on 135 for four at stumps on day three.
Tomorrow is set to be an intense affair with Hampshire currently trailing by just 45 runs.
Weatherley is looking forward to the challenge and remains optimistic Hampshire can notch an unlikely victory.
He said: ‘The guys played brilliantly this morning but we then couldn’t seem to do as much with the new ball as they did.
‘Maybe we should reverse the batting order!
‘They have done that for the last few years and it allowed us to take some momentum into the second innings.
‘You’d hope that if the weather forecast is OK and we come out firing and take a couple of early wickets then we will be in a good position.’
Rory Burns got Surrey’s second innings off to a good start before he was trapped lbw by Weatherley for 61.
Ben Foakes (33 not out) and Ollie Pope (11 not out) will continue at the crease tomorrow morning (11am).