Giles White hailed the contribution of Adam Wheater after Hampshire produced a dominant display against Essex.
The home side reached 398 for eight before stumps on day one of the County Championship division two clash at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.
Wheater was unbeaten on 82 at the close after helping the hosts bounce back from a wobble against his former club.
Michael Carberry (85) and James Vince (82) also made impressive contributions on the first day.
But it was Wheater’s knock which inspired the Hampshire recovery after they had crashed from 268 for three to 304 for seven.
He added 88 for the eighth wicket with Danny Briggs (20) in a typically positive innings, which has so far spanned just 97 balls and yielded nine fours and one six.
‘Adam’s was probably the innings of the day in the circumstances,’ said Hampshire manager White.
‘We had a wobble after tea and he counter-attacked and showed the quality he has got.
‘I am really pleased for Adam to do it against his old county and it bodes well for the future.
‘Overall the boys showed a lot of quality and have put us in a really good position.’
Meanwhile, it appears Dimi Mascarenhas is not quite ready to hang up his spikes altogether.
The all-rounder, who retires from Hampshire at the end of this season, has penned a deal with Hobart Hurricances for the Big Bash – Australia’s domestic t20 campaign.
The 35-year-old played twice for Melbourne Stars in the competition last year.
And he will join up with former Hampshire batsman George Bailey ahead of their first match against the Adelaide Strikers on December 22.