Published: 12th September, 2019
James Vince changed the complexion of Hampshire’s Specsavers County Championship clash with Surrey with an outrageous 59-ball 91.
A green-tinged Ageas Bowl wicket had seen 23 wickets fall in a day and a half before Vince arrived at the crease to flail the ball to all points of the Ageas Bowl. Vince smacked 18 boundaries in his exceptional knock.
The Hampshire captain had moved down to No.5 in the batting order for this match, with a decision to protect him from the new ball.
He was guided through his swashbuckling innings by Sam Northeast, who scored 73, while Felix Organ had earlier recorded his third half-century of the season.
Surrey started the second day trailing by six runs but quickly found themselves in the black, only to lose their remaining three wickets in six overs.
Rikki Clarke was lbw to Kyle Abbott following a high-quality 40 and Morne Morkel was run out before Keith Barker returned his best figures for Hampshire when he castled Amar Virdi. The left-arm fast bowler posting four for 38.
Hampshire, who gave up a 13 run first-innings deficit, appeared as if they were on course to replicate their first-innings collapse when they were bowled out for 149, when they slumped to 39 for two.
Ian Holland left a Morkel delivery which jagged back and clipped the top of the off-stump before Tom Alsop was caught behind.
But Organ steadied the ship, alongside Northeast, with a patient innings which belied his 20-years, while still taking the opportunity to ticked the runs along.
The academy graduate has scored a century and two fifties in three Championship appearances this season, with his most recent visit to the milestone coming from 73 balls and brought up with a controlled edge to the third man boundary.
His innings ended on 54 when he swiped and edged to Clarke at first slip, to bring Vince to the crease.
From the moment he carved an edge over the slips, Vince looked at home at the wicket – with back-foot pushes, typically cover drives and clips off the pads among the plentiful fours from his bat.
He reached fifty in 37 balls and bludgeoned his way to 91 before he edged Amar Virdi to first slip – the second time he had departed in the nervy 90s in his Championship career.
Among Vince’s carnage, Northeast, who has 930 Championship runs this season, had played a gem of an innings at the other end.
The former Kent batsman had played a part in the 129 runs in 16.3overs with Vince before he reached a slightly more sedate 71-ball 50.
Northeast departed when he edged to Clarke before Aneurin Donald was bowled by Virdi. But Liam Dawson’s caressing and Lewis McManus’ hitting, Hampshire’s lead reached 283.
Due to a rain delay either side of tea and bad light stopping play early, 32 overs were lost from the day.