England v Pakistan: James Vince says maiden international ton is ‘best moment’ of career

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James Vince said his first England century in victory over Pakistan in the third one-day international was the “best moment” of his career.

Vince has made 10 tons – and three scores of over 170 – in List A cricket for Hampshire, but has hit only two 50s in 18 previous ODIs for England.

He and Lewis Gregory put on 129 for the sixth wicket as the hosts won by three wickets to win the series 3-0.

“That was without doubt one of the best days I have had,” said Vince, 30.

“I don’t know if and when the next opportunity will be but I will never forget this.”

England pulled off the highest ODI run chase at Edgbaston of 332 after Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s 158 saw the tourists post 331-9.

Vince was added to the team for this series after England’s entire original squad was ruled out because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

He has played 13 Tests and 12 Twenty20s for England, but has often been criticised for failing to convert on promising starts, despite his attractive array of shots.

When asked if his 102 off 95 balls at Edgbaston was the best moment of his career, he said: “It was – I have not got there for England before so to be able to score a hundred for my country, that was my dream.

“To fulfil it in such a good atmosphere was very special.”

After reaching his century, Vince swung his bat and yelled in celebration and relief.

“I don’t normally show too much emotion but that was special,” he said.

“I wasn’t sure it was going to come as I played a few ropey shots in the 90s but when I reached the century I heard the crowd more than anything else and didn’t see where the ball had gone.

“It was big relief, a moment I thoroughly enjoyed. The crowd were awesome. The whole day was special.”

Vince said he had “not given up” on his international career, despite Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root establishing themselves as England’s first-choice top three in ODIs, while Vince’s last Test was in 2018 and his last T20 in 2019.

But he added he had a “realisation” he was not “high up in the pecking order” until England were forced to overhaul their squad.

England fielded five debutants in the first ODI before keeping an unchanged team for the next two matches.

“I have always been on the fringes and played a game here or there,” said Vince.

“It would’ve been nice in one of those chances to get a hundred but this will help me going forward.

“It will give me belief and some other people in the dressing room watching that I am capable of doing it.

“I know the opinion of my career is I have got starts and not made big contributions.

“Hopefully it will give me more confidence and other people as well.”

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