What are you on? Dope testers bring brilliant Vince back down to earth

Drug testers took the shine off James Vince’s match-winning performance in the final of the Big Bash, calling for him to produce a specimen for their analysis even before he’d had the chance to have a celebratory beer.

Vince, the Sydney Sixers opener, had followed up his undefeated 98 against Perth Scorchers six days earlier by striking the same opponents for 95.

English cricket supporters might have made the observation that Vince must have been on some sort of substance so used are they to seeing him give good positions away in the 20s and 30s after a flurry of sumptuous cover drives.

But he tested negative as, for the second time in a week, the Hampshire captain put Perth to the sword, this time to secure a 27-run win and ensure a third title for his team.

There was some bad feeling between the sides after Andrew Tye denied Vince a century in the first game by bowling what appeared to be a deliberate wide with one run required.

The Sydney crowd did not need long memories to remind Tye of the fact, with some choice phrases aimed in his direction when he came on for his first over.

The home supporters among the attendance of more than 25,000 people also had some words for Liam Livingstone, Vince’s English compatriot.

A regular boundary rider in T20 cricket, the Lancashire all-rounder, who has played two games for England in the shortest format, found his credentials at international level debated.

“I was told that if I was any good I’d be in India,” he said in a mic’d up interview at the end of the game. “Which is a fair point.”

Livingstone hit 45 in the Scorchers reply, but Perth rarely threatened to chase down the target.

It means the Sixers and the Scorchers have won six of the 10 editions of the tournament, each beating the other twice in the final.

The glory of Vince’s innings was not matched by particularly insightful quotes after the match, although he did hold out hope to Sixers fans that he would be back there in a year’s time.

“I’d love to come back here. I’ve been here two and half years and I can’t speak highly enough of not just the lads but everyone behind the scenes – the coaching staff, it’s a real pleasure to be here,” the 29-year-old said before stepping up to receive his Oscar – we mean winner’s medal.

Broadcast Schedule

England v West Indies 2024
ENG v WI 3rd Test, Edgbaston
26th July to 30th July
Start time: 11:00 am BST