After Hampshire defeated Kent by 61 runs in the Royal London One Day Cup Final at Lord’s, Hampshire captain James Vince reflected on the pleasure of receiving and holding the club’s first white-ball trophy since 2012.
Defeated captain Sam Billings remained proud in defeat despite having some harsh words for some of his own team’s supporters.
“This is a proud moment,” said Vince after the game.
“It’s my first trophy as captain. In this game and the semi-final win, we came very close to perfection so it’s a great credit to everyone.”
Vince saw the win as a pointer to the future.
“Hopefully this will give us a boost going into the T20 stage of the season. Also, it will help us when we get back to four day cricket, which we have to work on.”
Asked if he thought that 330 was a good enough score, Vince was clear in his thoughts:
“Tom Alsop and Rilee Rossouw did a great job in settling the team’s nerves and giving us a platform. We could possibly have scored 20 or 30 more but, in a final, 330 is a great score.”
Defeated Kent captain Sam Billings was almost as upbeat as Vince.
“Of course, I’m hugely disappointed,” he said. “But I’m proud of the effort that the guys have put in. We were bottom of our group last year so we’ve come a long way in a short time.
“I thought it was a fantastic effort to restrict Hampshire to 330 after the start they had. Maybe around 320 was a par score and Rossouw’s effort was the difference. We needed one of our top five to score a hundred. But Hampshire bowled well and adapted to the conditions better.
“On another day, if we batted to our potential, we would chase that target down.”
Overall, Billings was delighted with what is happening at Kent.
“We are picking up momentum with what is going on at Kent. Paul Downton has been unbelievable since he came back and Allan Donald and Matt Walker are helping to build a new culture within the club.
“These are exciting times. What we need to do is learn from this defeat. We are a young group. Well, maybe Darren Stevens is the exception but he’s young at heart. There’s a lot more cricket to be played this season. We have a strong T20 side and hopefully can get to Finals Day.”
Billings’ only negative note was reserved for those amongst the Kent supporters who loudly booed ex Kent player Sam Northeast. Was this an OK response? He was unequivocal.
“No, I was not happy,” Billings said. “That’s not cricket. It wasn’t fair and I didn’t agree with it.”
That aside, Vince and Billings were united in feeling that their respective teams can go forward to success both this season and beyond.