HAMPSHIRE coach Dale Benkenstein described the first day of the LV County Championship match against Gloucestershire as “a mixed bag”.

Benkenstein saw his side bookend the day with partnerships of 69 to ensure a total of 251-9, after losing seven wickets for 38 runs on an Ageas Bowl greentop.

He said: “We’re certainly giving the fans their money’s worth, it was just a bit of a mixed bag but what we’ve got now is around par.

“I was concerned about batting on a wicket that we wanted life in. It would have been ideal if we’d have bowled first, I was quite amazed at how well we started against a new ball on a very fresh wicket.

“We showed some good resolve up front, we could have been 20-4 but a few inside edges went our way.

“It was a good comeback from them in the middle but we had some bad luck - Ervine’s catch was freakish.

“It’s really hard for batsmen to switch from one form to the other and mental fatigue creeps in at this stage of the season, but at least we showed a bit of fight towards the end.”

Hampshire were desperately hoping Jimmy Adams would win his first toss in five games.

“If we bowled first, to keep them to 200 would have been a good first day,” added Benkenstein, who replaced Matt Coles with David Balcombe and Michael Bates with Joe Gatting.

“We would have liked Liam [Dawson] to be available as we knew we’d need the extra batter on that wicket if we batted first.

“Daws was the physio’s shout, they’ve worked hard to get him where he is and were more comfortable with him coming back on Friday and we have to respect that.

“It would have been a real disaster if he came back too early and was out for another six weeks and Gatts has just come off a good hundred [for the Second XI].

“Colesy is having a little rest, I don’t think he’s bowled as well as he can in this form of the game and Balcs is nice and fresh.”