Hampshire 149 and 296 for 6 (Vince 91, Northeast 73, Organ 54) lead Surrey 162 (Pope 68, Barker 4-38) by 283 runs
James Vince completely changed the complexion of Hampshire’s Specsavers County Championship clash with Surrey with an outrageous 59-ball 91. A green-tinged Ageas Bowl wicket had seen 23 wickets fall in a day and a half before Vince arrived at the crease to flail the ball to all points of the Ageas Bowl.
Vince, whose efforts may have caught the England selectors’ attention ahead of tours to New Zealand and South Africa this winter, smacked 18 boundaries in his exceptional knock.
The Hampshire captain had moved down to No. 5 in the batting order for this match, with a decision to protect him from the new ball. He was guided through his swashbuckling innings by Sam Northeast, who scored 73, while Felix Organ had earlier recorded his third half-century of the season.
Surrey started the second day trailing by six runs but quickly found themselves in the black, only to lose their remaining three wickets in six overs.
Rikki Clarke was lbw to Kyle Abbott following a high-quality 40 and Morne Morkel was run out before Keith Barker returned his best figures for Hampshire when he castled Amar Virdi, the left-arm fast bowler posting 4 for 38.
Hampshire, who gave up a 13-run first-innings deficit, appeared as if they were on course to replicate their first-innings collapse when they slumped to 39 for 2. Ian Holland left a Morkel delivery which jagged back and clipped the top of the off stump before Tom Alsop was caught behind.
But Organ steadied the ship, alongside Northeast, with a patient innings which belied his 20 years, while still taking the opportunity to tick the runs along.
The academy graduate has scored a century and two fifties in three Championship appearances this season, with his most recent effort coming from 73 balls, brought up with a controlled edge to the third man boundary. His innings ended on 54 when he swiped and edged to Clarke at first slip, to bring Vince to the crease.
From the moment he carved an edge over the slips, Vince looked at home at the wicket – with back-foot pushes, typically smooth cover drives and clips off the pads among the plentiful fours from his bat. He reached fifty in 37 balls and bludgeoned his way to 91 before he edged Virdi to first slip – the second time he had departed in the nervy 90s in his Championship career.
Among Vince’s carnage, Northeast, who has 930 Championship runs this season, had played a gem of an innings at the other end. The former Kent batsman played a minor role in adding 129 runs in 16.3 overs with Vince before he reached a slightly more sedate 71-ball fifty.
Northeast departed when he edged Jordan Clark to slip before Aneurin Donald was bowled by Virdi. But Liam Dawson and Lewis McManus reaching the close, Hampshire’s lead had swelled to 283.
Due to a rain delay either side of tea and bad light stopping play early, 32 overs were lost from the day.