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James Vince gives Hampshire a real shot at the County Championship title 

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James Vince fulfilled one ambition that seemed beyond him when he made his first England hundred earlier this summer.

On Wednesday, he took a big step towards another with a potentially Championship deciding contribution for Hampshire.

Vince became the first batter to properly tame the lively Aigburth pitch on another compelling, topsy-turvy day in Liverpool that saw Hampshire and Lancashire vie for pole position in the race for the win that could earn each the title.



One eye here remains on Edgbaston where, thanks to Hampshire old boy Danny Briggs, Warwickshire will take the title by the barest of margins if they take full bowling points and then defeat Somerset.



Vince ensured Hampshire are just about favourites going into the third day to clinch what would be only their third Championship title and first since 1973 with batting on a higher plane to anyone else here.

Hampshire had earlier seemed in complete control when Lancashire crashed to 47 for seven in reply to 143, the gliding skill of Mohammad Abbas and bustling strength of Lancastrian Keith Barker proving a potent seam combination.

Wickets again tumbled quickly when Hampshire batted for a second time - Bailey taking four of the five to fall cheaply - but Hampshire captain Vince, who made that England ODI century as a late call-up against Pakistan, added 80 with Dawson for the sixth wicket.


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