If things were in the balance after day one at The Oval, Hampshire certainly swung the tide with a fantastic batting display on Day Two.
Hampshire cleaned up the tail to bowl Surrey out for 329 early on Wednesday before Tom Alsop hit a maiden first-class century as they reached 213-3 at the close.
With the hosts resuming 260-6 with Ben Foakes 47 not out, the wicket-keeper could add just one more run as Hampshire struck after just five overs on day two.
He was cleaned up for 48 by Ryan McLaren and Tom Curran could only add 14 to his overnight score before he edged behind off Brad Wheal for 17.
Gareth Batty was making light work of the Hampshire attack as he’d raced to 23 after a stand of 36 with Curran and Stuart Meaker hung around for over half an hour until he was Wheal’s fourth victim for eight.
Liam Dawson finished off Surrey by removing Mark Footitt without scoring and Surrey were all out for 329.
Batty was left stranded on a run-a-ball 41 for the hosts as Hampshire took four wickets in 24 overs on day two, Wheal finishing with 4-100 and Dawson 2-36.
Hampshire reached 12-0 at lunch before Will Smith’s pair of boundaries in the first over after the break left Hampshire 20-0 from five overs.
But Surrey well and truly put the pressure on as three runs were yielded from the next seven overs and the pressure told as Jimmy Adams was caught behind off Curran for just eight.
Smith was joined by Alsop and the pair made inroads into Surrey’s 329 as they shared a stand of 92 for the second wicket.
By the time the 50 partnership was brought up Alsop had 38 of them and moved to 51 from just 58 balls to take Hampshire to 89-1.
The visitors reached tea with just one wicket lost, but Smith wasn’t to join Alsop in reaching a half-century when he was dismissed just 3.5 overs after the break.
Footitt found the edge to see Smith caught for 49 from 129 balls and James Vince’s awful run of form was compounded just six overs later.
He’d made just three before he was Foakes’ third catch behind the stumps, but Alsop was watching it all unfold around him from the non-strikers end 82 not out.
He finally found a partner in Sean Ervine, who closed out the day with an unbeaten 30 from 55 balls including just the second six of the match.
But Alsop will deservedly steal the headlines as he grabbed his maiden century for Hampshire from 169 balls and reached stumps on 117 not out from 192 deliveries.
He and Ervine had put on 88 for the fourth wicket, resuming the third day 116 runs behind before Alsop fell to just the second ball, caught behind off Footitt.