Hampshire 367 (Abbott 72, Holland 51, Stevenson 51, Clarke 7-74) and 253 for 5 (Organ 77, Dawson 65*) drew with Surrey 579 for 7 dec (Pope 221*, Borthwick 100, Finch 90, Stoneman 63)

Liam Dawson's fourth half-century of the season steered Hampshire to the safety of a draw on the final day of their County Championship fixture with Surrey at The Oval.

The visitors looked in trouble after Amar Virdi's three wickets reduced them to 175 for 5 shortly before tea, still 37 away from an innings defeat.

But Dawson, who was 65 not out having scored a century against Surrey in the Royal London Cup earlier in the season, proved their nemesis again, batting for two hours to take Hampshire to 253 for 5 in company with debutant Harry Came, who remained not out 23 as they avoided defeat.

Earlier, Ollie Pope had completed a maiden County Championship double century to set up the hosts' morning declaration before hot-footing it to Headingly as England cover should Jason Roy be ruled out of the third Test with possible concussion.

Surrey began the day 123 ahead and in need of quick runs. Skipper Ben Foakes was bowled through the gate before the go button could be pressed, but Pope continued serenely onto his double hundred from 323 balls with 19 fours.

Rikki Clarke hoisted Dawson for a huge straight six to provide the necessary acceleration before being adjudged lbw to Fidel Edwards, who claimed 5 for 125, though replays suggested the ball would have missed leg-stump.

The declaration came soon afterwards at 579 for 7 with Pope 221 not out, which left Hampshire 212 in arrears and with 40 minutes to negotiate before lunch.

The hosts spurned a chance when Ryan Patel dropped Felix Organ at third slip after he was on eight, but they made the breakthrough with the last ball before the interval, Virdi having Ian Holland caught down the leg side by Foakes.

There was more encouragement soon after the resumption when Clarke pinned England hopeful James Vince in front for just a single to leave Hampshire 39 for 2.

It was clear the visitors' intent was to play positively in a bid to wipe out their arrears and get in front. However, Sam Northeast took that intention to extreme lengths with a string of streaky shots down through third man and ultimately it proved his undoing when he slashed one from Morne Morkel to Scott Borthwick at slip.

Organ meanwhile, was making the most of his earlier reprieve, racing to 50 in 55 balls with a six and eight fours, ending up with 77. He looked increasingly confident, but with a second century in as many matches beckoning he, like Northeast, contributed to his own downfall, giving Virdi the charge and missing the ball to be stumped by Foakes.

The same combination would account for Rilee Rossouw before the end of the session, though the South African should probably reflect on why he was playing a needless sweep shot so close to an interval.

Hampshire were wobbling but Dawson dug in, finding an ally in Came, who showed great composure for a man making his first appearance six days shy of his 21st birthday as a concussion replacement for Aneurin Donald, who was injured in the field on day three.

Dawson's 50 came in 63 balls to wipe out the arrears and the pair shared a half-century stand in the game's dying embers.