Vince shows he is the reel deal

Hampshire batsman James Vince Picture: Robin Jones
Hampshire batsman James Vince Picture: Robin Jones
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James Vince netted a whopper of an innings and set his sights on a day at the lake to celebrate the first double century of his career in Hampshire’s demolition of Essex.

The in-form batsman blasted a sublime 240 in just 222 balls as Jimmy Adams’ side completed a 470-run rout of their rivals with a day to spare.

And while Vince’s name becomes mentioned more regularly for possible England duty – especially having passed 1,000 runs for the season by mid-June – the 23-year-old talent will swap the bat and pads for the rods and waders to extend the fast flow of runs.

Vince said: ‘We’ve got a bonus day off so if the weather is good I might go fishing for a bit.

‘I play a bit of golf and do a little bit of fishing during the summer just in a lake near where I live.

‘I try to forget about cricket when I get the chance and it’s nice to get away from it.

‘There is enough time to think about cricket so it’s good to switch off when you can. It keeps you fresh.’

Alongside fellow centurion Will Smith (151 not out), the pair put on a staggering 387-run partnership as Hampshire hit 440 for three declared.

That left Essex requiring 605 to win – and it was to nobody’s great surprise when they came up some way short as they were bowled out for 135.

Vince said: ‘It was a great win. To beat them inside three days was a great effort from everyone.

‘I got through a tricky bit early in my innings. I was a little bit lucky.

‘It got a bit easier when the sun came out but I was just trying to capitalise on anything that was not in a good area.

‘I tried to be positive and it paid off.

‘Overall, I was pretty happy with how I played.’

While Vince is modest and even shy when it comes to his own ability, he can’t hide his determination to force his way into the England reckoning.

And scoring runs at that rate and volume will do his chances no harm at all as he presses his claims.

He added: ‘I’m desperate to play for England but all I can do is what I’m doing at the minute.

‘I try not to think about it too much because it adds pressure.

‘It’s out of my control.

‘All I can control is how many runs I am scoring and I am doing that.

‘All I can do is keep knocking on the door and keep churning out the runs.’

Skipper Jimmy Adams was delighted with his side’s efforts and believes they can go on to achieve promotion if they can maintain those standards.

Adams said: ‘It was an outstanding effort from everyone but there were some unbelievable individual performances.

‘Kyle Abbott took five wickets in the first innings and then Will and Vincey were fantastic with the bat.

‘It is right up there with the best team performances I have been involved with as captain.

‘Those performances make your life a lot easier as a captain.

‘We’ve played some really good cricket for just over half the season.

‘With seven games to go, if we can win maybe three of those, I’m sure we would be there or thereabouts.

‘As always, we still need to play plenty of good cricket.

‘Things looks straightforward in this game but we had to put in a lot of hard work.

‘There will be a point where things don’t go our way but we have the quality and the confidence where I would like to think we have enough in the tank for promotion.’