Will Smith’s unbeaten 142 enabled promotion-chasing Hampshire hold out for a draw against Kent in Southampton.
After a morning washout, the 31-year-old, who resumed on 66, put on with Liam Dawson (40) before the latter was bowled by James Tredwell (4-110).
James Vince made a swift 27, but Adam Riley (4-36) swept the hosts batting line-up aside in tandem with Tredwell.
But Smith and James Tomlinson clung on for 11.4 overs as Hampshire ended on 248-9 to save the game.
Smith, who passed a 1,000 first-class runs during the match, spent over five-and-a-hours at the crease and hit 16 fours in his innings.
It was the 12th draw between the two counties in their last 16 Championship matches, with Hampshire having claimed three wins and Kent one in the other four games.
Following Essex’s innings and 79-run victory over Leicestershire,Hampshire head into their final Championship match knowing that only a victory will guarantee promotion to Division One for the first time since 2011.