Only some sharp fielding and poor shot selection prevented what Vince described as “probably 10 of [Rehan’s] worst balls” proving more costly than their eventual 17 runs. However, the fact that he then bounced back with ten of his best at the back-end of the innings was, Vince added, further evidence of his legspinner’s uncanny maturity.
“Rehan has bowled brilliantly all competition,” Vince said. “He came back really strongly in the last game after a couple of average sets first-up, so it was great to see the way he bounced back and he’s been really reliable all tournament.
“To be honest, you kind of forget his age,” Vince added, with Rehan having turned 19 earlier this month. “That’s down to the way he is around the group, the way he is on the field. He’s certainly above his years, and if you didn’t know his age, you would easily say from the way he carries himself and the way he performs that he’s in his mid-20s. So I think he’s going to grow and grow.”
And, if the sense is growing that this is a player who relishes the big stage, then the closing weekend of the Men’s Hundred – including the prospect of a Lord’s final on Sunday – offers another key staging post in Rehan’s fast-tracked development.
“[It’s great] that he can have these experiences and to have played international cricket already,” Vince added. “With the responsibilities as legspinner, there’s no-one else that can really pick up those overs in a game. It’s not like a batter who, if they don’t perform, someone else can come in and pick up their role. His role is specific and there’s only one or two of those in the team, so he’s certainly very mature for his age.”
With that in mind, and with Southern Brave’s qualification hopes hinging on victory on Wednesday night, Vince admitted he had no qualms about trusting Rehan to raise his game at the crunch. First he returned for a tidy four-run set between balls 61 and 65, and then produced his decisive final burst from balls 81 to 85, which began with Paul Walter miscuing a googly into the covers before Buttler’s fateful hack off his penultimate delivery.
“As a captain, there’s only so much you can say out there to get behind the guys,” Vince said. “He doesn’t need much maintenance. He knows what he’s doing. He’s got a big backing of himself, which is massively important. He didn’t shy away, or fear going for more runs. He still felt like he could have an impact on the game, and he got two crucial wickets in his last set of five, which really halted them at the end.
“He wanted the ball – he wanted to bowl 10 in a row at one stage – so massive credit to him to have the confidence in his own ability to be able to turn it around. He realised that he didn’t get it quite right first-up, but that’s the first time in the whole tournament that that’s been the case. So the fact that he was still eager to bowl is great to have as a captain.”