Visitors avoid follow-on by one run, then decline chance to chase 150 in 21 overs
Leicestershire 84 (Abbott 6-47) and 26 for 1 drew with Hampshire 233 (Holland 82, Barnes 4-61) and forfeit
Rain quashed Hampshire’s push for victory against Leicestershire as a match dominated by the weather finished in a draw at the Ageas Bowl.
After the start of play was delayed by three hours due to a wet outfield, Leicestershire avoided the follow-on by one run after a last-wicket stand of 30 from Ed Barnes and Alex Evans helped their side limp to 84 all out in response to Hampshire’s first innings score of 233.
With 22 overs of the day remaining, James Vince opted during the tea break to forfeit his side’s second innings and dangle the carrot of a 150-run victory target in front of Foxes skipper Colin Ackermann.
But the Group Two cellar-dwellers refused to take the bait, blocking out 17 overs for 26 runs, losing only opener Sam Evans, who became Kyle Abbott‘s seventh wicket of the match in what was a typically wholehearted and high-class bowling performance.
The players shook hands at 6pm with four overs of the day remaining, shortly after a moment of mild controversy when Australia opener Marcus Harris looked to have edged Keith Barker to Liam Dawson at slip, but much to the chagrin of the allrounder it was adjudged not to have carried.
Just 80.5 overs were bowled across the first three days before play finally got underway at 2pm with the Foxes resuming on 28 for 5 and needing another 55 runs to make Hampshire bat again.
Hampshire, chasing their fourth win of the season, struck in the third over of the day when Abbott had Harry Swindells caught superbly by Dawson for eight. Two further rain delays accounted for 11 more overs but Abbot and Mohammad Abbas, who took 3 for 19, continued to run amok in perfect bowling conditions as the visitors slumped to 54 for 9 when the South African quick ended the admirable resistance of Rishi Patel for 27.
Abbott bowled superbly for his 6 for 47 – his third successive five-wicket haul after the 11 he picked in the victory over Middlesex last week.
However, the young fast bowling duo of Barnes and Evans dug in manfully as Leicestershire nudged their way past the follow-on target before Lewis McManus took a simple catch when Brad Wheal located the edge of Evans’ bat.