|LV= County Championship Division Two, Colchester|
|Close, day two: Hampshire 246 v Essex 70-1|
|Essex 3pts: Hampshire 1pt|
Adam Wheater's knock of 107 aided Hampshire as they struggled in their first innings on day two at Colchester.
The visitors lost openers Michael Carberry for a duck and Jimmy Adams, who made just eight, early on, slipping to 32-5 off just 15 overs.
But Wheater, who formed an effective partnership of 115 with Nathan Rimmington (65), boosted them to 246.
In reply Essex then lost Nick Browne early on to fast bowler Matt Coles, ending on 70-1.
The hosts will be keen to capitalise on day three after play was abandoned yesterday because of rain.
Hitting 11 fours and one six, Wheater's knock was his highest total in the County Championship this season.
Essex bowler Saj Mahmood:
"We bowled well as a unit and then Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara have given us a good platform to build on tomorrow.
"Personally, I've felt in good form for the past couple of weeks playing second XI cricket after an injury but I've had to be patient before getting back into the first team. To do that and get some wickets its very satisfying."
Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein:
"We finally won the toss but probably it would have been better if we hadn't.
"We've had some pretty indifferent batting over the past couple of weeks and that's frustrating with the batting line-up we've got.
"The conditions in that first session were quite nice for swing but we should have been able to get through that better. But Wheats (Wheater) showed his class and it was a grand hundred."
BBC Essex's Nick Gledhill:
"It proved a good toss to lose for Essex as Graham Napier and Jesse Ryder exploited residual dampness in the first hour to wreck Hampshire's top order.
"Adam Wheater revived the innings with a sparkling hundred reminiscent of his Essex days. It fully justified his return to a place in Hampshire's top six.
"In the easier conditions of the final session Ravi Bopara and Tom Westley looked comfortable against the seamers but Liam Dawson's left arm spin posed problems late on.
"If Essex make a good start tomorrow they should accelerate through the day to leave themselves a chance of forcing a crucial win."