No century scored by a Sussex player will have been more welcome than Lou Vincent’s 102 in the Sharks’ demolition of The Netherlands in the Clydesdale Bank 40 on Saturday July 30.
The 32-year-old New Zealander, who joined the county this year on a two-year deal to play one-day cricket, has been outstanding in the field but had previously struggled to bring his international class to bear with the bat.
He had failed to score a half-century in either one-day format before putting things right against the Dutch where his runs came off just 87 balls. So much so that supporters were openly questioning his place in the side to coach Mark Robinson, who has short shrift for Vincent’s critics.
Robinson said: “Last month three groups of supporters separately asked me why is Lou in the one-day team. I had to point out that before Murray Goodwin got his hundred in our last group game he had scored more runs than Murray in t20.
“We knew he was only an innings away from helping us win a game. He is a proven quality performer and what he needs is for our supporters to appreciate what he gives, not just in the field. Lou should be a cult hero at our club.
“Lou is a worrier, he takes everything personally but the squad was desperate for him to do well. No one gives more to the cause and to the younger players than he does.”
Rana Naved, meanwhile, played his last game as sole overseas player against the Dutch although he will be in the attack alongside South African Wayne Parnell in the t20 quarter-final against Lancashire on August 8 now Parnell has recovered from a hamstring injury.