Jimmy Adams and Sean Ervine recorded Hampshire’s best fourth wicket partnership against Warwickshire as the pair led a remarkable recovery for the hosts.
Adams and Ervine put on 263 together, which was also an Ageas Bowl record, as they helped the hosts recuperate from 31 for three to end the day on 294 without losing another wicket. The experienced duo, who have been mainstays in the Hampshire line-up together for 11 years, topped the 120-year county record of 222 which was set by Walter Andrew and Arthur Hill.
Opener Adams batted out the whole day with a complete lack of interest in scoring runs quickly, instead preferring a survival mode which saw him offer little to the Warwickshire bowling attack.
Adams got his place in the team thanks to Liam Dawson and James Vince’s England Lions call-ups after missing fixtures against Essex and Somerset. As he reached fifty, from 156 balls, Adams reached an impressive landmark of 13,000 career first-class runs.
“It was a big relief to get those runs as it had been a while and we were in a bit of strife... To get those runs at a time it was needed means a lot. I am just delighted to see it through and do what the team needs."
His remarkable patience was rewarded when he finally reached three figures in the 93rd over of the day – having faced 261 balls. The reward for Adams was his maiden century since September 2015, having departed in the 90s three times across the formats last summer.
No.5 Ervine was also watchful at first but grew into his innings as he maturely dispatched what he dared as Warwickshire began to toil after their frantic start. The Zimbabwean drove, pulled and cut with perfect weight as he scored 50 off 82 balls and a century from 158 deliveries.
The ton, brought up in the afternoon session, was his first of the season having previously only collected 160 runs in his nine previous County Championship innings. He returned to the hut unbeaten on 160, having passed his 11,000th red-ball run late in the evening, with Adams 104 not out.
Hampshire decided to bat having looked at the dry pitch, which offered a peculiar, lighter shade patch on a spinners length at either end. The decision looked foolish with Hampshire slumping to 31 for three within the first 10 overs.
The wicket seemed two-paced with the majority of balls early on appearing to struggle through to wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose, but the occasional delivery did speed through. Keith Barker, who took a five-wicket haul on the ground last year, looked a particular danger with his medium-fast bowling seaming both ways.
Michael Carberry was a frustrated victim of the slowness when he found himself at the pitch early before his leading edge looped up to Ian Bell at mid-on, Barker threatening to repeat his 2016 performance as he notched his 300th red-ball scalp. The left-armer then produced a wicked delivery to see off Rilee Rossouw.
Opposed to the sluggishness of the bounce to Carberry, the South African failed to deal with a massive amount of in-seam to be rattled on his back pad by Barker. Boyd Rankin joined the attack in the 10th over and within four balls used the inactive rebound off the pitch to cause George Bailey problems.
The Australian, in his over eagerness to cut, swung early and chipped another simple catch to Bell, who was now on the off side. After that, despite plenty of optimistic leg before appeals and close plays and misses, Ervine and Adams strode into the distance to hand Hampshire a solid day one foundation.
Speaking at the end of day one, Adams said: "It was a big relief to get those runs as it had been a while and we were in a bit of strife at the beginning of the day.
“I heard the PA over the speakers say about the record and me and Slug (Sean Ervine) had a chuckle about that – it is a nice milestone especially when you hear it has been so long – unfortunately Slug got most of them!
“I’m hoping there is something still in the pitch. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it to reverse and I expect Mason [Crane] to get more out of the pitch than the finger spinners.”