Hampshire destroy Essex in style

Andrew Gorvin bowling for Havant.  Picture: Neil Marshall (171025-5)

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If James Vince is not in the England set-up within the next 12 months, something has gone drastically wrong somewhere down the line.

The 23-year-old has long been touted as a future international player.

James Vince Picture: Robin Jones

James Vince Picture: Robin Jones

And while a pedestrian Essex bowling attack may not be the best way to judge his ability, Vince is surely destined for greater things.

It is now simply a question of when – not if!

And those who saw his magnificent 240 – from just 222 balls with 33 fours – will wonder what more he has to do to get his opportunity at a higher level of cricket.

Resuming his partnership with Will Smith – who himself hit a superb 151 not out – Vince looked uneasy in the first couple of overs of the day.

But then he eased into top gear and never looked back.

He passed his previous career best of 180 and then brought up his 200 with a classic straight drive to the boundary from the 200th ball he faced.

And while Smith played a more typical Championship-style innings, he also peppered the boundary with 13 fours from his 245-ball stay.

The partnership was worth 387 runs and the target of 605 that was set for Essex was largely irrelevant.

They were simply never going to get anywhere near it.

Essex, who crumbled to 121 all out in the first innings, were expected to show a bit more fight in their second dig.

But while Ravi Bopara (39) played some nice shots during his innings, the visitors’ body language suggested that they knew the game was up.

Kyle Abbott picked up three for 23, but David Balcombe (two for 41) and the rest of the attack backed the South African once again with an impressive team display.

When the victory was finally wrapped up, it had equalled the second-highest victory margin of all time in County Championship cricket.

While some would argue that Hampshire should have enforced the follow-on when they had the chance, the compelling argument to that was seeing Vince in full flow in the second innings.

It surely will not be long before he is doing the same thing in Test cricket.