All eyes appeared to be Andrew Flintoff, who is being hotly tipped for an England recall in time for the second test against South Africa at Headingley which begins next week.
But while Big Fred certainly impressed with his two spells, one in the morning and the other mid-afternoon, there was an equally commendable performance from second-placed Lancashire’s new ball bowler Glen Chapple.
He took a wicket with the third ball of the match to dismiss Michael Carberry with a catch off his own bowling, then shortly after lunch he struck again to have Sean Ervine caught in the gully. And his 12 overs to date have cost a miserly 20 runs.
A fit Flintoff could not but catch the eye though when he came on as first change at the Pavilion End. He required just 17 balls to make the statement that he is ready for his return to the England Test team.
That was when the Lancashire all-rounder claimed his first Hampshire wicket having been introduced to the attack after three quarters of an hour. He looked strong and unleashed the odd sharper ball to catch the batsmen on the hop.
His victim was former Lancashire batsman John Crawley, who had been squared up the ball before Flintoff did exactly the same, the difference being that at the second attempt the bowler found the edge.
Flintoff had no luck after lunch but he did not give much away. His morning spell of 6-2-11-1 was followed by a slightly more expensive seven overs for 18 runs.
Michael Brown managed to haul Hampshire out of immediate danger, sharing in a second wicket stand of 48 with Crawley, but he was then trapped lbw by Sajid Mahmood when he was one short of his fifty.
For a while after lunch Michael Lumb provided some much-needed resistance until he was tempted into cutting a ball from left arm spinner Gary Keedy but merely edged it to Stuart Law at slip.
Keedy then claimed the valuable wicket of Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas who was caught and bowled for 22 and at tea the first division strugglers Hampshire limped in on an inadequate total.Reuse content