HAMPSHIRE captain James Vince admitted his side has to improve fast after collapsing to an innings defeat against Surrey.

Vince’s side began the day following on 233 runs behind and despite a Joe Weatherley half-century were bowled out for 175, still 58 short of Surrey’s 368.

Ex-South Africa star Morne Morkel spearheaded an impressive Surrey attack but Hampshire were still architects of their own downfall.

With composure and patience required, Vince was stumped attempting to take on off-spin star Amar Virdi.

A calamitous run out of Weatherley extinguished any Hampshire hope.

Hampshire are now ensconced in the Specsavers County Championship’s first division bottom two, with a third of the season gone.

Vince said: “It’s a very disappointing defeat in all aspects of the game.

“We bowled ok in patches then let them in the game with some phases of play where they were able to score at five an over quite comfortably.

“We didn’t apply enough pressure for long enough periods of time. With the bat, to be bowled out cheaply in both innings is very disappointing.

“They bowled well and at times we soaked up pressure but never anything significant enough to get back in the game.

“When they enforced the follow on we said if we had any chance of winning the game they gave us our best chance.

“If we could have put 350 on board and got 150 ahead you never know.

“We’ll have to have a sit down before the next game and look at our batting.

"Whether it’s our methods or mentality I’m not sure but we’ll definitely have to have a rethink.”

Virdi and Morkel both took three wickets, while Rikki Clarke finished with a match haul of 7-83 as Surrey won by an innings for the second time in three visits to the Ageas Bowl.

Jimmy Adams was lbw prodding forward to the left-arm swing of Sam Curran in the eighth over.

And it was always going to be difficult for Hampshire when their captain, having unfurled six boundaries, was beaten by Virdi’s flight and well stumped by Ben Foakes.

Sean Ervine, playing his first Championship match of the season, was also found wanting against Virdi, who he edged to slip.

Meanwhile, Weatherley continued to show a level of patience that belied his years.

Having done the hard work, he reached his fifty with four fours in six balls; a flurry against Jade Dernbach before his ninth boundary, through the off-side against Morkel, took him to his second Championship half-century of the season, from 121 deliveries.

But he was soon run out in calamitous fashion, ironically following a rare Surrey misfield.

When a Rossouw drive nutmegged Morkel at wide mid-off, Hampshire ran two.

But then came the mix-up. Rossouw ran a third, leaving Weatherley to play catch up. Morkel threw to Dernbach, who beat Weatherley’s despairing sprint. Foakes did the rest.

It was the day’s key moment. With Hampshire deflated and 106-4, Morkel soon hit the top of Lewis McManus’s off stump. After that it was a procession, with Rossouw left high and dry on 39.

“Run outs in four-day cricket are difficult to take,” said Vince.

“The partnership was starting to develop nicely and Rilee was not out at the end so could still be going now.

“That was our main hope, they looked comfortable so for it to end like that sucked any life left out of us.

“It’s little moments like that where we’ve got to be better.”

Hampshire now have a week to refocus on Monday’s semi-final against Yorkshire or Essex, which begins at 11am instead of 2pm to avoid a clash with England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia.

They return to Championship action with a day-night pink-ball match against third-from bottom Yorkshire next Wednesday, before taking on Lancashire at Old Trafford at the end of the month.