Dominic Cork underlined his belief that James Vince is a future England star after seeing the Royals batsman turn in a sensational Friends Life t20 performance.
Vince hit a majestic career-best 85 not out from just 49 balls as Hampshire crushed Sussex by 112 runs – the fifth biggest win in domestic t20 history and the Royals’ best-ever winning margin.
It was Vince who stole the show with five fours and six sixes as he despatched the Sharks bowling attack to all corners of Hove.
The Hampshire skipper believes the 21-year-old has the world at his feet if he continues to improve, although he joked he would soon be acting as Vince’s PR officer.
Cork said: ‘It’s almost like I don’t need to say anything more about James Vince.
‘If I tell people I think he will play for England any more than I already have, he’ll have to start paying me money.
‘He’s a superb talent. He times the ball, hits it in good areas and doesn’t play any silly shots.
‘I’d say that was the best I’ve seen him play but it doesn’t surprise me. Nothing surprises me with that man.
‘He’s got talent, he works hard, he’s a bubbly character and he can only get better.
‘He is up there with the best young players I have seen in my career.’ Considering the Royals were comprehensively outplayed at Surrey on Friday night, there were fears the wheels had come off their t20 wagon.
But their response was emphatic as they posted their highest score of this year’s competition, a glorious 193 for two.
With Sussex bowled out for 81, Danny Briggs taking a career-best four for 18, it was a one-sided victory that secured their place as south group winners, which will now land them a home quarter-final against the fourth-placed side from the north group next month.
Cork said: ‘It was one of our best matches. Everything see-med to click and it was right up there with the best t20 games I’ve played since I’ve been at the club.
‘When you set a target like that, the opposition have to go for it and it can go one of two ways.
‘We took wickets up front and it put them under pressure. It was a very good performance.’
The two sides meet in the Championship from today with Cork’s side rock bottom of division one.
He said: ‘We can take this confidence into the Championship game. It’s not rocket science – we need to win because we are bottom of the league. They will be smarting and we will be on a bit of a high. You take a psychological advantage. It’s always great to beat Sussex.’