Vince measures double century to perfection
JAMES VINCE is hoping for an England call but was delighted to be centre stage with his double century in another brave Hampshire fightback.
The team have refused to buckle under pressure in recent matches.
And the skipper pressed his case for England selection with 201 not out as Hampshire salvaged a draw from the County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton.
Now attention turns to the Test squad announcement tomorrow.
He said: ‘I haven’t been thinking too much about England selection and the innings was mainly for the team, but hopefully it helps in that direction too.
‘You have to adapt to the match situation and I had to change my normal game a bit.
‘The pitch had flattened out and I still tried to score at every opportunity, while concentrating on keeping my defence tight.
‘I am not going to make any predictions about being in the England squad because you never know what is going to happen.
‘Fingers crossed I will be selected and if so I will really look forward to the First Test at Lord’s.’
Vince, unbeaten on 63 in a score of 178 for two overnight, went on to make 201 not out in a marathon vigil to lead his side to 432 for four and an honourable draw.
Hashim Amla made 107 and Rilee Rossouw an unbeaten 65 as Somerset’s attack could make little headway on a flat pitch.
Somerset saw Jack Leach injured before the start of play. He had his left thumb broken by a lifting ball sent down with a dog-ball thrower by head coach Jason Kerr while batting in the nets on the outfield.
Without him, Somerset never looked likely to take the eight final day wickets they needed.
They had to be content with 13 points, while Hampshire took nine.
Amla got his second century of the season off 177 balls, with 15 fours.
He helped take the score to 233 – a stand of 194 with Vince – before edging a short, wide ball from Lewis Gregory to wicketkeeper Steve Davies.
Vince reined himself in admirably to reach his own 100 off 277 deliveries, with 13 boundaries, by which time he had batted for five hours and 24 minutes.
The innings was all the more admirable for that as a player renowned for going for his shots continued to put his team first, displaying exemplary concentration.
Somerset’s seamers managed to beat the bats of Vince and Rossouw a few times after lunch without finding an edge and, as the sun continued to beat down, it became tough work for all the bowlers.
Vince went to 200 in the final session off 434 balls, having extended his boundary count to 28.
By the time the players shook hands at 4.50pm, he had battled away for more than eight and a half hours.