James Vince plays the Southern Brave hammer on Welsh Fire in the opening act of Hundred


James Vince continued his brilliant white-ball form as Southern Brave started their Hundred defense with a nine-wicket pounding from Welsh Fire.

Brave captain Vince was the Vitality Blast’s top scorer with 678 carries and started the second edition of the Hundred with 71 balls from 41, with opening partner Alex Davies hitting another 26.

Previously, Fire skipper Ben Duckett hit 40 of 31 deliveries, with the second-highest score of just 11, as Fire struggled under par 107 with seven of 100 balls.

Craig Overton dominated the top order with two for 21 before Chris Jordan grabbed two for 16 before Vince, Davies and Marcus Stoinis were all the batsmen needed to finish the 31-ball job.

Vince had emerged from a brilliant Vitality Blast campaign with Hampshire – where he also led his county to their third title.

The opportunity to release him early should not be missed. Unfortunately, Ryan Higgins missed his chance and dropped Vince on the border with the fifth ball.

A pair of boundaries through midwicket and point quickly exposed the error as Davies beat two back-to-back fours from David Payne – the second a stunning straight drive.

Davies hit a short delivery from Higgins to fall with 36 carries in 51 balls, while Vince quickly cut hard to bring his half-century in 31 deliveries.

He waited until he was at 55 before slogging his first six before Brave quickly rushed to victory to maintain his perfect Ageas Bowl record – Vince surpassing his best of 60 in 2021.

Craig Overton took two wickets (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA wire)

Previously, Brave won the toss, opted for bowling and reduced Fire’s top order to 31 to 3 on the 25-ball power play after spectacular fireworks delayed the proceedings.

Brave was without the lightning-fast Jofra Archer, Tymal Mills and George Garton for various injury and illness-related issues, but thanks to their depth it didn’t matter.

Overton had Joe Clarke, stretching to a miscue to cover a four-ball duck, and Tom Banton, crouching to a deep square leg while 41-year-old Michael Hogan bowled Ollie Pope – who missed a backswing.

Duckett and Sam Hain bet on 25, an innings-high, but wickets continued to fall regularly.

Ben Duckett scored the highest score for Welsh Fire (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA wire)

Jake Lintott spun into attack and tickled Hain’s glove with his second ball, while 17-year-old leg spinner Rehan Ahmed and James Fuller’s analysis while starting wicketless under a run-a-ball.

Fuller put the finishing touches on a chaotic run to watch Josh Cobb die and Quinton de Kock’s second-in-command easily pinned Higgins on the court line.

Left-hander Duckett kept things together, despite surviving a run and dropping a catch, but dominating in the sweep when all five of his limits came from behind the wicket.

He praised Jordan down the middle before watching young Afghan Noor Ahmad jab the first and only six of the innings, although it would never be enough. James Vince plays the Southern Brave hammer on Welsh Fire in the opening act of Hundred

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