Vince: Hampshire can win t20 crown again

Vince scored 51 not out in a man of the match performance off of 39 balls.
Vince scored 51 not out in a man of the match performance off of 39 balls.
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James Vince helped steer Hampshire to a second successive Friends Life t20 victory and declared: There’s no reason why we can’t repeat last year’s glory.

The young Royals batsman cracked an unbeaten 51 as the Rose Bowl outfit chased down 141 for victory with ease, adding Surrey’s scalp to the Somerset one they took on Wednesday.

Just two games of t20 cricket already look to have revitalised a season that was heading nowhere fast.

And Vince believes this is just the start of a resurgence that could yet end in silverware again.

Vince said: ‘It’s a long way away and we have to take each game as it comes.

‘But if we carry on playing as we have in the first two games, we’ve got every chance of defending the title.

‘It’s nice to make it two wins from two. We’ve put two comprehensive wins together in t20 and it’s six on the bounce including last year so we’re on a good run in this format.

‘With t20 you can play with freedom and if luck is on your side, you can do well.

‘Everyone is putting in good performances and it came at a good time. It meant we didn’t need to worry too much.

‘The change of format has helped us, we’re confident in this form of the game from last year and it’s a great start for us.

‘Teams will fear playing against us now and if we keep churning out performances like that, maybe we can make another finals day this year.’

While Vince reached his half-century with the winning runs, it was another fine team bowling performance and a decent opening partnership between Michael Lumb and Jimmy Adams that set the Royals on their way.

He said: ‘The bowlers have done well in both games, then Lumby and Jimmy have got us off to great starts and it’s made it easy just to rotate the strike out in the middle.

‘We haven’t been under too much pressure to score quickly so it’s been a good time to go out and bat.’

But while it’s a remarkable transformation in fortunes, Vince was always confident that results would turn.

He said: ‘We’ve got a talented squad and we’re capable of doing far better than we have been doing.

‘We’re a squad that’s been together for a few years now and we know each other well.

‘It was just a matter of time before it came together.

‘Hopefully we can pick up an away win at Kent and keep this momentum going.’

And although it appears unlikely that Shahid Afridi will be playing any time soon as his disagreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board continues, Vince believes Hampshire have proved they can cope without him.

He said: ‘He’s one of the best t20 players in the world so it was a blow to lose him but it shows we’ve got strength in our squad.

‘If he plays for us at any time in this tournament, it will make us even stronger.’