Hampshire are a point clear at the top of division two following the latest round of LV County Championship games.
Second-placed Worcestershire have completed a 234-run win against Leicestershire at Grace Road and, like Hampshire, have played nine of the 16 games.
Crucially for both sides, third-placed Essex are a further 41 points adrift of the automatic promotion places following their record 470-run defeat at The Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams said: "If we can win three of our remaining seven games we'll be there or thereabouts."
Reaction to Hampshire's record-breaking win against Essex in today's Daily Echo