Hampshire 282 for 7 (Dawson 109*) vs Somerset
Dawson has enjoyed a successful season with bat and ball with 667 runs and 28 left-arm spin wickets to his name in Division One.
Hampshire chose to bat, but before play started the two teams stood for a minute of silence in memory of Heath Streak, who died aged 49 earlier on Sunday.
Zimbabwean Streak played 19 first-class and 21 List A matches for Hampshire as an overseas signing in 1995. Their players wore black armbands during the day’s play.
Fletcha Middleton – a star of Hampshire’s progression to the Metro Bank One-Day Cup final last month – fell to his third delivery, as Brooks found some away movement and the outside edge to second slip.
The recovery set the platform, and tempo, for the day. Watchful and safe batting, against accurate but unthreatening bowling on a slow pitch.
On his first Championship outing for Hampshire, Toby Albert showed promise in his 26 during a 50-run stand with Gubbins before tamely chipping to point.
James Vince belied the conditions by cover-driving his first ball for four. His 34 in 49 was a rare attacking spell of the day, alongside out-the-blue sixes from Albert and Gubbins.
Vince overtook Gubbins in 17 overs before lunch but was given out caught-behind off an inside-edge before Tom Prest was leg before for a six-ball duck.
Gubbins, who has a strike-rate of under 40 in Division One this season, was particularly slow between lunch and eventually fell a run shy of his seventh half-century as Shoaib Bashir’s quicker ball crashed into the stumps. He was replaced by Ben Brown who slowed things even more, with four off 42 deliveries in 54 minutes before Gregory had him caught behind.
Dawson manoeuvred things in his typically understated style, his 111-ball fifty showing composure, skill, and a sound technique but little unneeded extravagance.
The only question mark on his innings was a caught-and-bowled appeal off Brooks, who claimed the catch, but Dawson insisted it was a bump ball. The umpires sided with the batter. Replays were inconclusive so the benefit of the doubt towards the batter proved sensible.
James Fuller accompanied Dawson in a 54-run stand before Brooks struck him on the pads with the new ball, but Dawson marched towards the 13th century of his career and past 9,000 first-class runs.
Due to the sluggish nature of the surface, Dawson dominated his scoring square of the wicket, with all but two of his 13 boundaries coming from pulls, jabs, sweeps or cuts.
He and Keith Barker accelerated towards the close, putting on 56 together, to cash out the dividends earned from the earlier graft in the day.