James Vince steered Hampshire to a convincing CB40 win over Welsh Dragons and admitted: I needed that.
The talented Royals batsman fired a terrific 83 to lead Hampshire to a 48-run success as they stormed back from Saturday’s disappointing Championship defeat at Northamptonshire.
Vince, who has so far struggled for runs this term in four-day cricket, looked in fluent form with some glorious strokes and built a match-winning century partnership with Michael Carberry at the top of the innings.
And he is hopeful that can spur him on in the Championship ahead of this week’s home clash with Derbyshire.
Vince said: ‘It was nice to bounce back from a disappointing performance at Northants last week.
‘We were on it from the first ball.
‘It was a great performance from the bowlers.
‘And when myself and Carbs got out there, we felt our best chance was when there was a bit of pace on the ball up front and we took advantage of that.
‘Once we got off to that start, it was just a case of being sensible and seeing it through.
‘To be honest, for the first few games of the season I have felt pretty good.
‘But I just haven’t stayed out there for a long period of time to put a big score on the board.
‘But it was the best I’ve felt this season and it was nice to play with the white ball – you can trust it a bit more than the red one!’
With skipper and regular opener Jimmy Adams still missing for personal reasons, Vince was pushed up to open alongside Carberry.
But he admitted he felt sympathy for former Hampshire man Simon Jones who was regularly clattered to the boundary, even though the former England man felled the batsman with a dangerous – yet accidental – beamer at one stage.
Vince said: ‘A few of their guys put some pace on the ball and it made it easier for us.
‘I felt a bit sorry for him (Jones), to be honest.
‘A good wicket for him is one with a lot of pace in, so it probably wasn’t the best one for him to have to bowl on.
‘But when he hit me, luckily, it caught me on the glove so it didn’t actually hurt that much.
‘He apologised straight away so I don’t think it was meant at all.’
While Hampshire always look powerful in limited-overs cricket on their home turf, it’s a different story in four-day cricket.
And they bid to end a winless run that stretches back nearly two years to July 2010 in this week’s clash with Derbyshire.
Manager Giles White said: ‘We put in a good performance to get off to a good start in the CB40 competition and, hopefully, we can take that into this week.
‘The home record is something we want to change, for sure.
‘The encouraging thing is that the wickets so far this season would have produced results.
‘We put ourselves in a good position against Leicester and we’d like to think we would have got over the line in that game if it hadn’t been for the weather.
‘We tend to play very good one-day cricket here so we are comfortable in these surroundings.
‘It’s just a case of getting one win under our belt and going from there.’