Vince makes unbeaten double century 24 hours before England squad is named

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    James Vince reached his second Championship double-hundred after passing 100 in 277 balls – the slowest of any player to make a century this season
    Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day four):
    Hampshire 231 & 432-4: Vince 201*, Amla 107, Rossouw 65*
    Somerset 506: Hildreth 184, Bess 92, C Overton 80; Berg 5-130
    Hampshire (9 pts) drew with Somerset (13 pts)

    James Vince boosted his England selection chances by batting through the entire final day to guide Hampshire to a draw against Somerset at Taunton.

    He scored 201 not out from 437 balls as the visitors went from 178-2 overnight to 432-4 when the game ended at 16:50 BST, with Hashim Amla making 107.

    Somerset, who were without the injured Jack Leach, took only two wickets on day four, but still claimed 13 points.

    England selector Ed Smith will announce the squad to face Pakistan on Tuesday.

    Vince began the day on 63 and he and Amla took their partnership to 194, with the South African reaching a 52nd first-class century before edging a short ball from Lewis Gregory to the keeper.

    Tom Alsop (12) was caught at first slip off Tim Groenewald, but Rilee Rossouw (65 not out) joined Vince to put on 176 runs in 55.1 overs and prevent any chance of Somerset forcing a win on a benign pitch.

    With Hampshire on the back foot following James Hildreth’s 184 in Somerset’s imposing 506, Vince was solid in defence, reining in his attacking instincts and offering just a few half-chances in his marathon innings.

    His 514-minute knock – the longest of his first-class career – earned Hampshire nine points and did his chances of selection to face Pakistan in Tests at Lord’s on 24 May and Headingley on 1 June nothing but good.

    Vince scored 76 in his last innings for England against New Zealand in Christchurch in March, but his average of 24.90 over 13 Tests has seen his position in the side called into question.

    Smith, who was appointed England’s new selector in April, will name his provisional squad to face Pakistan at 15:00 BST on Tuesday.

    James Vince struck 28 boundaries in his eight-hour innings

    Hampshire captain James Vince: “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.

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    “Fingers crossed I will be selected and if so I will really look forward to the first Test at Lord’s.”

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