David Balcombe claimed a five-wicket haul as Hampshire reduced Lancashire to 252-9 on the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash at the Ageas Bowl.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat but were in danger of being skittled for a paltry total when Balcombe helped reduced them to 182-8.
But an unbeaten knock of 93 from Andrea Agathangelou dug Lancashire out of trouble and left the contest finely poised heading into the second day.
Openers Stephen Moore and Luke Procter had put on 54 for the first wicket before the former was caught for 30 by James Vince off the bowling of James Tomlinson before Karl Brown (3) became Balcombe's first scalp.
The wickets then began to fall at regular intervals, with the most notable middle-order stand being the effort of 49 between Agathangelou and Steven Croft (20).
But the latter's dismissal was the first in a string of wickets for Balcombe, who completed his five-for when he had Kyle Hogg caught by Michael Carberry for 4.
Glen Chapple and Agathangelou put on 43 for the ninth wicket before Chris Wood got some reward for his nagging accuracy, when Chapple was caught by Sean Ervine for 10.
Simon Kerrigan teamed up with Agathangelou for the remaining five overs and managed to contribute three out of a 27-run unbroken stand for the final wicket.