HAMPSHIRE coach Adi Birrell insisted his side were "outplayed" as they were well-beaten by defending county champions Surrey at the Kia Oval.

The visitors lost by an innings and 11 runs which means they are winless after four games of the rain-affected County Championship season.

Hampshire were bowled out for 197 in the second innings as they failed to overturn a deficit of 208 after the first innings.

Ben Brown top-scored for Hampshire with 45 in the second innings, while England vice-captain Ollie Pope set a new Surrey record with eight catches in the match.

"We have been outplayed over the four days," Birrell explained.

"We certainly need some time off now so we can practice hard and get ourselves ready for the next game."

The South African admits his Hampshire side has struggled with the challenge of visiting the leading side in first-class cricket in recent years and it is something they hope to overcome.

He continued: "I think you can say it is a mental thing for us coming here to Surrey, having lost heavily now in our last four visits.

"Last year I thought we played well and were still in contention to win ourselves on the last day before Pope took it away from us with an unbeaten hundred.

“But in this game, we got behind early and stayed behind and it’s certainly been a struggle for us coming to the Oval in recent years.

"We knew what we were going to come up against here but we have to try to find a way to deal with it.

"Surrey’s faster bowlers know the conditions here at the Oval, with the extra carry and swing they get, and they really exploit that.”

Surrey captain Rory Burns, who scored 113 in the first innings to put his side in a commanding position, believes his bowlers did well to restrict Hampshire during the game.

He said: "We have played really well over the four days.

"We got an early foothold in the game by bowling them out for 151 on the first day. It is very pleasing that we have started the season so well.

"But I think the way our bowling attack has performed in this game, and especially in the second innings because of the relentless nature of it, is very much a blueprint for us as we go further into the season.

“Ollie (Pope) has always been a very good catcher of the ball, and he moves very well on his feet so he can take a lot of difficult chances.

Hampshire are next in action when they host Durham at the Utilita Bowl starting Friday, May 10.