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James 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
James Vince played an epic innings for Hampshire at Taunton
Taunton (final day of four): Somerset 506, Hampshire 231 & 432-4d - match drawn
James Vince pressed his case for England selection, while Jack Leach’s hopes of facing Pakistan were dashed by injury as Hampshire salvaged a draw from the Specsavers County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton.
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.
The hosts were hit by the loss of Leach 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.
It was wretched luck for the 26-year-old left-arm spinner, who made his Test debut in New Zealand during the winter and would have been very much in the England selectors’ minds for the two Tests against Pakistan. The squad for the first is due to be announced tomorrow.
Without him, Somerset never looked likely to take the eight final day wickets they needed to clinch a third victory in four Championship games. They had to be content with 13 points, while Hampshire took nine.
Amla began the day on 86, with his team 97 runs behind, and progressed comfortably to 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's century was the slowest in the Championship this season
Vince reined himself in admirably to reach his own hundred off 277 deliveries, with 13 boundaries, by which time he had batted for five hours and 24 minutes, making it the slowest century in the Championship this season.
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.
Vince lost another partner with the total on 256 as Tom Alsop, on 12, pushed forward to Tim Groenewald and edged to James Hildreth at first slip.
Somerset had taken the new ball with the total on 210, but it soon became apparent that the pitch was not going to assist seam or spin, while the swing evident over the first two days was absent under clear blue skies
There was little or no turn for England Lions off-spinner Dom Bess and by lunch Hampshire were 260 for four, just 15 runs behind.
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, his longest ever Championship innings.
Report courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network