Shane Warne saluted Will Kendall and Dimitri Mascarenhas for leading Hampshire to a nail-biting three-wicket opening championship win against Durham.

All-rounder Mascarenhas followed up a typically economical effort with the ball by hitting the winning runs in his run-a-ball 33.

His unbroken eighth wicket stand of 60 with Kendall ensured that Hampshire reached 109 for the loss of seven wickets to get the first-class season off to the best possible start.

Captain Warne said: "At 25-5 we were looking a bit shaky and they were probably in the box seat but we showed good courage and bounced back well.

"I'm not sure we want to be that entertaining, we had people on the edge of their seats, but it was an opportunity to show what we are made of and Will and Dimi came through with flying colours.

"They were positive and did extremely well.

"Dimi bowled superbly - for him to bat the way he did and then get the winning runs topped off a great game for him.

"To take 1-13 off seven overs and then bat like that was an outstanding performance

"It was great for everyone to see Will and Dimi get us over the line, it has given everyione a lot of confidence."

Hampshire had to wait until July for their first championship win last season - they had only won four of their previous 32 four-day games - and Warne reckons a minimum of four more are needed for promotion.

"The first few games are very important. If you can win five games in the second division you will probably get promoted and we want to win every game we play," he said.

"It doesn't matter how you get the win as long as you get it and we're glad to get one on the board."

Warne needed physiotherapy after suffering a neck strain during the warm-up ahead of the first day's play but finished with match figures of 7-95. "It's better than 0-95, it's not a bad way to start and I bowled okay," said the man with 517 Test wickets.

"If Chris Tremlett bowls like he did in this game for the whole season he and Alan Mullally will be quite a handful with the new ball and were both well supported by Billy Taylor and Dimi."

Warne and his teammates celebrated a memorable first win of the 2004 campaign in style - with a rousing song in the dressing room.

"Lawrence Prittipaul, Will Kendall and a couple of other guys put the words together and Dimi was the lead singer," added the skipper. "A few of us had a few sheets of paper in our hands to remember the words - but 'Glory Glory we are Hampshire' was the chorus."