‘It couldn’t have gone any better’ – Vince delighted after Hampshire start County Championship season with innings victory at Leicestershire

Hampshire took just 30 minutes to take the two wickets they needed to complete a comprehensive innings victory in their opening LV=Insurance County Championship match against Leicestershire.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 2:17 pm
Hampshire's James Vince on his way to 231 in his side's innings victory at Grace Road. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Kyle Abbott pinned Gavin Griffiths leg before wicket for 16 before Mohammad Abbas, formerly of Leicestershire, bowled Alex Evans for 2, leaving Chris Wright unbeaten on 31, writes RICHARD RAE.

That ensured the hosts were bowled out for 305 second time around, after being dismissed for 202 on the third day, to give Hampshire victory by an innings and 105 runs.

Hampshire had been in total control right from the start, skipper James Vince winning the toss and top scoring with 231 - his second highest first class score - as his side rattled up their highest Championship score against the Running Foxes, 612-5 declared.

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It was only the second innings victory at Grace Road in Hampshire’s 126-year Championship history. The first, way back in 1897, was by an innings and 195 runs after the hosts were skittled for 91 and 92.

After Hampshire had stormed to the top of the embryonic Group 2 table, Vince said: ‘We’re delighted.

‘winning the toss on an incredible wicket to bat on for the time of the year was ideal, and a score like ours at the rate we made it gives you a bit of leeway.

“I felt pretty good, the wicket was so true and had decent pace in it and from the word go I felt in good touch and was timing it well.

‘It couldn’t have gone any better for myself and the team.’

Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon said: ‘We had to be at our best to compete against a very good side and we weren’t.

‘It was the perfect pitch, but we had a very bad session on the first day, and James Vince was outstanding in the way he took advantage of some wayward bowling.

‘(Tom) Alsop and then (Liam) Dawson backed him up and made it tough for our bowlers.

“We battled well in our second innings but have to convert 50s and 60s into hundreds.’

Hampshire’s second game is against Middlesex behind closed doors at The Ageas Bowl starting on Thursday.

Scores: Hampshire 612-5 dec (J Vince 231, L Dawson 152no, T Alsop 119), Leicestershire 202 (H Swindells 59, K Abbott 3-27, M Crane 3-49) & 305 (L Hill 65, H Dearden 62, M Crane 3-102). Hampshire won by an innings and 102 runs.