Mason Crane and Liam Dawson spun Hampshire towards victory before James Vince took them over the winning line with a thunderous 87 to give the visitors their first victory at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford for five years.
The spin duo of Crane and Dawson ripped through Essex Eagles’ batting in the middle overs as they snatched figures of five for 55 from their combined eight overs to set up a dominant seven-wicket victory.
The Eagles, having been 81 for one at one stage, lost nine wickets for 52 runs in 47 balls, to fall well to 133 all out.
Hampshire knocked off the 134 required inside 16 overs, with captain James Vince raising his bat for his second fifty of the competition to condemn Essex to a single win from their opening five fixtures.
Vince won the toss, stuck Essex in, and was immediately celebrating as Chris Wood removed Cameron Delport with the first ball of the match as he edged to Dawson at first-slip.
Adam Wheater and Tom Westley, who had been promoted to the top of the order then enjoyed a boundary hitting contest.
Westley won the battle with three huge sixes and a trio of boundaries to Wheater’s four inventive fours and sole maximum in the pair’s 81 run stand in 53 balls.
But Dawson and Crane entered the attack and dismissed Westley and Wheater in successive overs before ripping through the rest of the Eagles’ batting.
Crane then lured Ryan ten Doeschate into a false shot down the ground, Chris Morris snaffling at long-off, before Dan Lawrence was bowled tjhe very next ball.
Shane Snater was run out by Wood attempting a foolhardy second run and then Simon Harmer chipped to Sam Northeast at short cover, Dawson and Crane ending with middle-order figures of two for 32 and three for 24 respectively.
Overseas duo Adam Zampa and Mohammad Amir quickly followed as Essex lost eight wickets for 32 runs in an epic 40 ball collapse.
Paul Walter struck 26 off 13 balls to give the hosts some respectability before Matt Quinn was clean-bowled to leave him stranded.
Aneurin Donald scored four and out in two balls before Vince and Rilee Rossouw comfortably ticked through the runs in a 78-run stand.
Vince, who opened his campaign with 50 against Kent, tonked one over long-on to accompany a series of gorgeous fours to reach his milestone in 34 balls.
Rossouw slapped to the straight boundary to depart for 25 but Vince continued to take his tally to three sixes and 12 fours.
He ended unbeaten on 87 as he and Sam Northeast eased Hampshire towards the line with a 50-stand. The latter was bowled but Vince scored the winning runs two balls later.