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Kent facing Hampshire follow on
Kent facing Hampshire follow on

James Vince completed his fourth Vitality County Championship double century before Hampshire’s bowlers cemented the host’s advantage on day two.

Hampshire captain Vince showcased the very best of his aesthetically pleasing batting to go from 149 overnight to a must-watch 211.

He was able to declare on 505 for eight with attacking duo James Fuller’s 41 and Keith Barker’s 43 before Barker, Mohammad Abbas and Kyle Abbott chipped away with wickets.

Feroze Khushi and Jack Leaning bagged contrasting fifties for the visitors but they ended the day still 299 runs behind on 206 for six.

Vince had turned the shape of day one with a mesmerising century, and came out for a swaggering encore.

He reached 150 with the third ball of the day with the first of eight cover drives of the day, each caressing the middle of the bat and whistling to the boundary.

It was the kind of Vince innings which had it taken place a decade ago would have created a clamour for an England call-up. But despite 1,000 runs last season and back-to-back hundreds, his Test days appear behind him.

Ben Brown took his partnership with Vince to 259 – Hampshire’s all-time best against Kent for the fourth wicket – before inside edging onto his pads to loop to second slip, before Liam Dawson was bowled by Joey Evison.

Despite Vince’s eternal majesty, this was the first time since 2018 that he had scored two Championship centuries in a season, but continued to smash the ball around Utilita Bowl.

His 200 came up in 262 balls, with only Phil Mead, Gordon Greenidge and Jimmy Adams scoring more doubles for Hampshire.

Vince was only quelled on 211 when the tireless Grant Stewart found a trampoline on a length to take the shoulder of the bat through to second slip.

James Fuller and Keith Barker took on Vince’s mantel and further upped the run-rate with some aggressive batting either side of lunch.

The pair put on an entertaining 69 with both crashing scores in the 40s to keep Kent’s bowlers in the dirt.

Both were bowled before Vince called Felix Organ and Kyle Abbott in after an unbroken 35 partnership to declare on 508 for eight.

Feroze Khushi, on loan from Essex, was hypnotic in reply.

Whether it was the shot a ball, having the ball thrown at him by Mohammad Abbas – who was docked five penalty runs – or insisting that a ball hadn’t carried to third slip.

The piece de resistance was a simply watch-it to believe it whipped six over square leg on his way to a 38 ball fifty.

But wickets kept falling. Ben Compton was leg before in the third over to Barker while Abbas ended his first four overs having gone for 31 but hit back with a snorter to have Daniel Bell-Drummond caught behind in a wicket maiden.

Khushi fell over a full Barker delivery, Evison edged Abbas behind before Barker picked up his third when Tawanda Muyeye dangled to Ben Brown.

But throughout, Jack Leaning bedded in and found little problem to slowly take his side away from a complete collapse. His fifty coming in 89 balls and ended the day unbeaten on 73.

Harry Finch was sharply caught and bowled by Abbott off the final delivery of the day with Kent miles from avoiding the follow-on.

Kent batter Feroze Khushi: “It was quite tricky conditions against a very good attack. It is my debut so there were a little bit of nerves as you want to do well.

“I wanted to get the team into a good position and start well, and I think we did that, but then we lost some wickets.

“We need to dig hard tomorrow and losing that wicket at the end wasn’t ideal. It is a good cricket wicket and if you get a bad ball you can definitely put it away, once you get in on it you get more confident. Tomorrow morning’s session is going to be important, we have a long way to climb so we need to be positive.

“I played a similar innings to this for Essex against Lancashire and it came off. It might not look the prettiest but sometimes you have to adapt. I’m disappointed not to push on after tea as I was eyeing up a big one.

“I was feeling in a good rhythm and wanted to be positive. The last thing I want to do is let the bowlers bowl to me and dictate things. 

“I’m joined up with Kent until July 13 but I heard about Jordan Cox’s injury so I don’t know if it will be cut short. If I’m called back then so be it but if not then I will try my best for Kent.”

Hampshire batter James Vince:

“It was good. The partnership with Browny after being three down reasonably early on a wicket which was doing a bit for the bowlers was a big partnership. It put us ahead in the game.

“Then the bowlers came out and bowled okay and picked up six wickets in a long session. I am pleased where we are in this game.

“Runs always make you feel good about your game. I don’t think they put the ball in a good area often enough so they weren’t able to build enough pressure on us.

“The ball got a bit softer but it has offered something throughout the game so far. If you aren’t quite on it with the ball then there is enough pace in the wicket where you can hit through the line of the ball.

“Tomorrow morning we will try and knock the last four quickly and take a big lead into the second innings.”