Brad Wheal's (4-38) best List-A performance with the ball was not enought to deny Kent of a five-wicket victory Hampshire, but provided a late scare in their Royal London One Day Cup encounter at the Ageas Bowl.
Adam Wheater (63) scored his second half-ton of this year's Royal London One Day Cup as Hampshire looked to climb above Kent Spitfires, but the visitors proved too strong with the bat, chasing down Hampshire's 230-run target in the 44th over despite a minor hiccup.
Kent batsmen Joe Denly (105) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (91) scored 203 without loss before Wheal's terrific bowling caused Kent to doubt victory, less than 30 runs from Hampshire's 230-run target.
Tom Alsop (17) has been Hampshire’s star batsman in the competition this season and he began well alongside Will Smith (20), hitting four boundaries, but the pair were removed in the space of the two overs as Hants were pegged back to 44-2.
Wheater and Ervine looked set to reach a 50-run partnership before Hampshire’s skipper mistimed an overhead scoop to James Tredwell at short extra cover, as Darren Stevens (1-29) took his only wicket.
Liam Dawson (20) provided stability for Hampshire, as he and Wheater made a 61-run stand to put Hampshire in a commanding position, but the pair both pulled the ball to Alex Blake on the boundary in the 31st over, leaving Hants 145-5.
Ryan McLaren and Gareth Berg took the home side beyond 200 runs and forged a vital fifty partnership in response to testing bowling from the Kent attack, who had compounded the wickets of Dawson and Wheater by taking Lewis McManus (6).
McLaren scored 43 runs on his List-A debut for Hampshire and helped them post 229 all out, as former Hants bowler Matt Coles (6-56) finished off the home side’s tail end.
Chasing 230 runs, Kent almost suffered an early set back.
Hampshire were convinced Ryan McLaren had found an edge from Daniel Bell-Drummond (91) in the fifth over, but the umpire was unmoved and Kent offered little else for the rest of the innings. Kent batsmen Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly (105) showed real class for the visitors, both reaching fifty before the end of the 19th over.
Denly led the way for the Spitfires and took just 120 balls to reach his ton, then moved Kent beyond 200 without loss with a series of boundaries.
Hampshire produced a remarkable revival, sparked by the bowling of Brad Wheal, who removed both openers to halt Kent's progress - 203 without loss was transformed into 204-3, as McLaren trapped Sam Northeast (1) at lbw.
Wheal produced his best List-A bowling figures, as he continued to show serious potential in a Hampshire cricket, clearly relishing his time in Hampshire's first team.
Despite a terrific late effort, Blake scored the winning runs for Kent Spitfires, closing out a five-wicket victory to move above Hampshire in the Royal London One Day Cup standings.