Vince: I don’t mind being lucky

James Vince in action

James Vince in action

Tom Alsop hit an unbeaten century. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tommy guns down the Spitfires

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James Vince shrugged off the impact of luck on his current run of form as he bids to extend his good fortune at Surrey tonight.

The 21-year-old Hampshire batsman enjoyed some favourable breaks in his match-winning knock against Essex on Wednesday, seeing two streaky outside edges fly past Eagles wicketkeeper Adam Wheater early in his innings.

The Essex glovesman, who was deputising for the suspended James Foster, also missed a regulation stumping chance as Vince closed in on his third half-century of this season’s Friends Life t20.

By the time Vince was eventually sent on his way lbw by Tim Phillips for a season’s best 55, the talented right-hander had passed Neil McKenzie as the club’s leading run-scorer in this year’s t20 competition in taking his personal tally to 302.

But Vince is making no apology for riding his luck and knows only too well that the shortest format of the game can turn on you in the blink of an eye.

He said: ‘I had a few nicks for four and a few bits of luck against Essex but it helps to get a good score. That’s the way t20 goes and it can go the other way pretty quickly.

‘But it’s nice to get a bit of a run going.

‘I had a few things go my way and you just hope you can get on a roll when that happens. Hopefully I can keep scoring runs.’

While the Royals have been overly reliant on Jimmy Adams and Michael Lumb in previous years to score their runs at the top of the order, Vince and McKenzie have done the majority of the damage this season.

Aside from McKenzie’s 89 not out in the win at Gloucestershire, only Lumb has recorded a half-century with 53 in the win over Somerset in the Royals’ opening fixture.

And that has seen Vince take on more responsibility in the middle order as he matures into a quality batsman who will surely go on to play for England at some point in the future.

Vince said: ‘We didn’t get off to the ideal start in the Essex game but, generally, it’s been made easy for me by the openers who have got us off to a good start in most games. It’s been a nice place to bat and I’m enjoying it.’

While Surrey still retain hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals, Hampshire’s priority is to book themselves a home tie in the last eight by finishing in the top two of the south group.

But Vince insists the Royals must also continue to prove their mettle away from home for tonight’s clash at The Oval.

He said: ‘I think Surrey is generally a good wicket. But they have got a good side and they’ve got players who can put really good performances together.

‘We will try to be better than them on the day as we have with every other game this season.

‘We can play with freedom but we don’t want to take our foot off the pedal too much. It would be nice to secure a home tie and play in front of our home fans and take as much momentum into the quarter-finals as possible.’

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