Adams double leads Leicestershire flogging
Hampshire 497 for 8 (Adams 231, Carberry 110) lead Leicestershire 303 by 194 runs
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams struck a season's-best 231 as Leicestershire's inexperienced bowling attack was ruthlessly swept aside on the third day at the Ageas Bowl.
Adams struck 34 fours and three sixes after sharing in an opening stand of 253 in only 61 overs with Michael Carberry, who made his own 110, to help Hampshire to a lead of 194 with a day to go.
In response to Leicestershire's first innings total of 303 built around Angus Robson's maiden ton, Hampshire raced to 497 for 8 from 104.5 overs. Adams is now likely to declare at some stage in Wednesday's morning session and then hope to bowl out the division's only winless county over the rest of the day.
With all but 10 overs of the second day lost to rain and bad light, Adams and Carberry, one of the county cricket's most durable opening partnerships, had no option but to attack from the start of the third. Both should have departed before reaching their 50, Adams expensively missed behind the wicket by Niall O'Brien and then by Dan Redfern off an easy chance at point.
Carberry, too, took full advantage of some poor catching and was put down later on 94 in the slips off Charlie Shreck who found edges several times throughout the day without luck.
Carberry was the first to go after hitting 18 fours in his third century of the season, caught at the wicket off Jigar Naik attempting to cut, but there was no respite for the Leicestershire bowlers with former Derbyshire left-arm pace bowler Atif Sheikh conceding 114 from 19.5 overs and spinner Naik going for 146 from 28. Even Shreck reached the unwanted century for a single, late reward.
Will Smith helped Adams put on another 55 for the second wicket before Alex Wyatt, the most frugal of the visiting bowlers, got rid of Smith soon after the Leicestershire total had been overhauled with consummate ease. Rob Taylor accounted for the potentially dangerous James Vince and Naik got his second wicket when Liam Dawson departed with the score on 397.
Adams, who last scored a century at the same stage last season, reached his double ton in the 94th over and grew more belligerent the longer he went on, sharing in a stand of 36 in only three overs with Adam Wheater before lifting Sheikh to mid-on where Greg Smith accepted the opportunity.
Sheikh removed Sean Ervine and Wheater was bowled in Shreck's last bizarre over of the day in which 16 runs also came off it, including five wides. Sheikh's figures were made to look more respectable when he claimed the wicket of Matt Coles in what proved to be the last ball of a one-sided day but the only compensation Leicestershire can gain is that the wicket was easy-paced and bland throughout although with a hint of turn by the close. They should be able to survive on it but any chance of a first win of the season have long gone.
"We knew we had to be positive from the start and attack," Adams said. "The plan was to be about 200 ahead by the close so we are on course. Tomorrow's plan is to bowl them out as cheaply as possible. It's a good track but it is starting to turn. If we can get some early wickets we can put them under pressure."
Sheikh added: "It was nice to get three wickets but they all came from batsmen going for their shots. We came under the cosh with boundaries flying everywhere before lunch and it was a case of sticking with it. The wicket is starting to take spin, which is a worry for us because we are going to have to bat all day just to make sure we do not lose. But I think we can do it."