A half-century from James Vince teed up an 18-run victory and South coast supremacy for Hampshire against Sussex at Hove.
The result was the Royals first win of the season, which conversely shattered Sussex’s 100% record in this year’s competition.
Hampshire began by winning the toss and electing to bat, which Jimmy Adams and Vince set upon at a rapid rate immediately.
A strong start was made prior to the captain’s departure for 19 in the fourth over. Nevertheless, the vice captain battled on, and was joined by some stellar supporting cast members.
Adam Wheater came in at number three to pick up where his skipper left off. A steady 34 from 25 balls augmented Vince’s knock of 52.
The opener’s bat was raised for his half-century after only 30 balls, but he was to be heading back to the pavilion before the halfway point of the innings. Matt Machan provoked relief in the Sussex camp when he caught out the England hopeful off the bowling of Steffan Piolet.
But there was to be little respite for the home team. Owais Shah (17) scored at less than a run-a-ball – and failed to hit a single boundary during his 42-minute stay at the crease – but he pacified the big hitting of Sean Ervine in the latter stages.
The Zimbabwean turned the screw when he arrived in the middle, smashing two sixes in his 38. Yasir Arafat then dismissed both Ervine and Matt Coles (0) in the penultimate over, but Hampshire would have been happy with their total of 177-5.
In reply, Sussex found themselves in a spot of bother at the culmination of the second over, when Chris Wood accounted for the wicket of opener, Machan (6).
Luke Wright then typically went through the gears to wow the crowd with his big hitting. His 23 from 12 deliveries could have been integral to a home win, if he had only maintained his wicket for longer.
Ed Joyce was unmoved in the middle for the majority of the innings, eventually going for 56, but his failure to clear the boundary rope during his stay meant that the Sharks were falling behind the required run rate.
That dilemma was partly remedied by a knock of 34 from 22 deliveries for Rory Hamilton-Brown. But the batsman was one of two victims to fall prey to the spin of Will Smith.
Impressive figures of 2-21 from his four overs played an important part in providing a sixth consecutive T20 victory for the Royals against Sussex.
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