James Fuller’s quick-fire 45 and impeccable bowling from Liam Dawson and Nathan Ellis fired Hampshire into the Vitality Blast quarter-finals at the expense of Gloucestershire.
All-rounder Fuller needed only 24 balls to smack his haul at the death to drag Hampshire to an above-par 140.
Gloucestershire, who needed to win to keep their knockout hopes alive, lost wickets with regularity with Liam Dawson returning two for 16 and Australian Ellis one for 14 in his four overs - as Hampshire won by 15 runs.
Hampshire chose to bat first on a sluggish used pitch and battled their way to above par thanks to some later innings hitting.
Before then they had been a struggle as Gloucestershire bowled incredibly tightly on a pitch similar to a typical Seat Unique Stadium wicket. Only 24 runs came in the powerplay with Ben McDermott and James Vince both falling, the former to Mohammad Amir who only bowled three balls before walking off clutching his side.
Benny Howell had Tom Prest top-edging a slog sweep with the pressure building before his slower ball found Ross Whiteley chopping on via his pad. The crafty bowler picking up two for 29.
Joe Weatherley kept things ticking in his sweeping way, although his six came from pulling straight to begin Hampshire’s death crescendo. Weatherley and Liam Dawson handed Tom Smith figures of two for 18, before Fuller exploded.
Forty-six runs came from the final three overs, and 36 from the final two, as Fuller swung Ryan Higgins for back-to-back sixes over the long square boundary before plopping David Payne over the straight boundary twice.
The visitors moved Iain Cockbain to open for the first time this season but he only lasted until the second over when Prest brilliantly ran him out with only a single stump to aim at. It was an atonement for Prest who had dropped a tough chance off Chris Dent.
Prest would complete his penance when his off-spin forced Dent to sky to deep extra cover – although 40 for two at the end of the fourth over.
Miles Hammond skied to McDermott but Dawson’s introduction swung the momentum.
The left-armer’s first over only went for three runs, his second just two runs, the wicket of Glenn Phillips and four play and misses from Higgins, before he bowled Higgins with a jaffa in his third over – his first three overs returning two for nine. Mason Crane joined in to get Jack Taylor caught behind.
Gloucestershire had the rate well in hand throughout but the regularity with which they lost wickets came back to bite them – with Howell swiping to deep square leg to become the seventh man to depart to leave 38 needed from the last five overs.
Only 15 runs came in the following three overs and the burden was too much for James Bracey – who had scored 38 off 30 – when he was caught splicing to third.
Tom Smith was run out off the first ball of the last over, with 17 required, before Ellis bowled Payne to a rapturous response from a packed Ageas Bowl.