JAMES VINCE is hoping his sensational return to form can help fire Hampshire to a hat-trick of County Championship victories.
The young batsman was one of the stars of the show at Edgbaston as Jimmy Adams’ side secured a remarkable 209-run win over Warwickshire on Saturday.
Vince’s superb 145 in Hants’ second innings set up the triumph, before quick bowlers James Tomlinson and Chris Wood skittled out the title-chasers for just 98.
And although Hampshire remain bottom of the division one table, the team’s second successive win has hauled them back to within 21 points of today’s visitors to the Rose Bowl, Worcestershire.
Just one point further ahead are Yorkshire in the all-important seventh position – but having played a game more.
In short, it means that Hampshire’s fight against the drop, which appeared futile just two weeks ago, is now very much alive and kicking, with four matches remaining.
‘That’s the way it can change in Championship cricket because you get a lot of points for winning games,’ said Vince.
‘We’ve managed to win two on the bounce. If we can win another couple before the end of the year, we will put ourselves in a good position.
‘We can only take each game as it comes and we start again against Worcestershire and lead up to t20 finals day (Saturday).
‘Another win would be great because they are down the bottom there with us, so I guess it would be worth even more points.’
Vince’s match-winning knock was only his second century of the first-class season, and the right-hander is hoping it kick-starts a frustrating campaign.
He added: ‘It was nice to get a big score because I haven’t had one for a little while in the Championship.
‘Hopefully I can kick on now and get a couple more before the end of the season.
‘It’s probably one of the more important ones. It put us in a good position’
The 20-year-old was also quick to pay tribute to the Hampshire bowling attack for their part in the victory at Edgbaston.
‘It was a cracking win,’ continued Vince. ‘It’s probably one of the best games I have been involved with for Hampshire.
‘We didn’t get as many runs as we would have liked in the first innings but the bowlers came back really well.
‘But then there were a few good partnerships along the way in the second innings – to get more than 400 was a great effort and then the bowlers were absolutely brilliant.
‘We were just trying to bat through until tea and, hopefully, if we got to somewhere near 250 ahead, it would keep us in the game.
‘It was crucial to get those early wickets. The new ball was much harder to bat against but as the ball got older, it got a bit easier.’