WILL Smith responded to being dropped by scoring an unbeaten century in captaining Hampshire to a seven-wicket Second Eleven Championship win against Surrey.
Smith was one of the players to make way following the signing of Rilee Rossouw and the return to full fitness of Michael Carberry.
He will not find it any easier to win back his place when George Bailey arrives as captain next month.
But he did his chances no harm by making 108 not out (169 balls, seven fours) as Hampshire chased down 203 in the final innings on The Ageas Bowl’s Nursery Ground.
After an opening partnership of 53 with Ben Duggan, Smith lost Josh Goodwin (17) and Ian Holland (7) cheaply.
But an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 98 with Fraser Hay (47no) guided Hampshire to a comfortable victory.
Hampshire were ensured a gettable fourth-innings target by Chris Wood (15-5-34-4) and Mason Crane (15-1-77-5), who combined to bowl Surrey out for 186 in their second innings.
Fit-again left-armer Wood accounted for four of Surrey’s top five before Crane ran through the middle order and tail.
Asher Hart (6-1-30-1) took the other wicket to fall. Wood had made 75 from only 109 balls (13 fours) as Hampshire recovered from 92-7, having been 51-0, to post 218 in reply to Surrey’s 231.
He shared stands of 64 with Brad Taylor (23) and 59 with Asher Hart (19no).
Hampshire II’s next game is at home to the Unicorns in the Second Eleven Trophy on Tuesday.