Vince knows tougher tests await
James Vince was delighted to feature in a sizeable partnership for England Under-19s, allowing them to saunter past Hong Kong in the opening match of their World Cup campaign in Lincoln.
England made short work of Hong Kong in their first Group A match at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, easing to the target of 186 for the loss of a solitary wicket.
They rode home on an aggressive unbeaten 71 from Vince, the Hampshire batsman, who shared an unbroken stand of 129 with Yorkshire’s Joe Root, who made 70.
That followed an opening alliance of 57 between Root and Chris Dent.
Building substantial partnerships has been an area of concern for the Under-19s in their recent one-day international series, particularly on tour in Bangladesh, so today’s alliances must give heart to the camp.
Vince told ecb.co.uk: “It was a pretty impressive start. It was important that Root and ‘Denty’ got us off to a good start, and we were able to take it on further.
“The conditions were similar to how we’ve encountered all tour. It was pretty cold and windy again, but the wicket was probably the best we’ve had so far for batting on.”
Vince admitted that the unknown quantities Hong Kong and Afghanistan, who await England in Christchurch on Monday, make today's performance hard to gauge.
Nonetheless, Vince reckoned that two wins over the lower-ranked sides, which will seal England’s place in the quarter-finals, would be the perfect lead-in to the final Group A clash with India.
Vince added: “It was a very good team performance, as we didn’t know quite to expect from Hong Kong.
“‘Payney’ bowled really well with the new ball and the spinners did well to tie them down all the way through their innings.
“They got one big partnership going three wickets down (67 between Irfan Ahmed and Nizakat Khan), but we managed to snuff that out and take three quick wickets.
“We thought they’d have a couple of talented players, and a few who weren’t quite up to the same standard, and that’s pretty much how it turned out.
“We’re now more confident playing Afghanistan on Monday. India will be the toughest test in the group.”
Only when Nizakat took the score to 155 for four did the Asian nation appear capable of threatening England. They were particularly profligate with the new ball.
Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson said: “There’s definitely a few things to work on. Most of all, the start of the innings with our bowling, trying to cut down on the boundary balls that we gave away.
“India are a very strong side – they’re going to be very disciplined in everything they do.
"Our boys just needed to get one game under the belt to kick-start the campaign and hopefully they can improve tomorrow.”