Vince, Dawson give Hoggard tough farewell
Hampshire 362 for 2 (Vince 145*, Dawson 136*) v Leicestershire
Liam Dawson and James Vince both hit unbeaten centuries as Hampshire took a stranglehold on their game against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Put into bat after the first day wash-out, Hampshire reached 362 for 2 with Vince making 145 not out and Dawson unbeaten on 136 at the close. The third-wicket pair shared a record partnership of 248 that put a big dent in Leicestershire's hopes of securing their first Championship win in their final game.
There looked to be plenty of grass on the wicket so it was no real surprise when acting captain, Niall O'Brien, decided to bowl first on winning the toss. It should have paid immediate dividends. Matthew Hoggard, given a guard of honour by his team-mates when he walked out to start the last match of his career having announced his retirement, saw a catch dropped in his first over.
He found the edge of Jimmy Adams' bat, only for Michael Thornely to put down a shoulder-high catch at slip. The day did not get any better for Hoggard or Leicestershire.
Adams and Sean Terry rode their luck in the first hour or so as the ball moved around in the helpful conditions. Both of them played and missed on several occasions before Adams finally nicked one off Ben Raine to give O'Brien a routine catch behind the stumps with the score on 50.
Terry continued to struggle at times, but was also quick to seize on anything off line as he and Dawson put together a useful second-wicket stand of 64. By the afternoon the batsmen were completely on top, and the runs began to flow at an ever increasing rate as the Leicestershire attack became more and more erratic.
Terry reached his 50 off 112 balls with eight fours, before being trapped lbw by a good delivery from Shiv Thakor for 57 with the score at 114.
That proved to be the home side's last success, with the rest of the day dominated by Dawson and Vince. Dawson reached his 50 off 79 balls with eight fours, and it was an indication of how much the bowlers had strayed down the leg side that only four of his runs came on the off-side.
Vince reached his 50 off 65 balls with 10 boundaries and at tea the third wicket pair had put on 110 runs in 24 overs, with Hampshire scoring 141 runs in the session.
There was no respite for Leicestershire after the interval, with both batsmen moving on to their centuries. Dawson reached his off 164 balls with 13 fours and Vince followed in the next over having faced 119 balls and hit 16 fours plus a six off left arm spinner James Sykes.
They were still together at the close having posted a record third wicket stand for Hampshire against Leicestershire. Vince was on 145 off 168 balls and Dawson on 136 off 228 balls.