Michael Carberry crashed a superb half-century as Hampshire continued their unbeaten start to the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast campaign with a 29-run victory over Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl.
Carberry (77) struck five sixes in a devastating innings which lasted 45 balls, as Hampshire posted an imposing 189-8 off their 20 overs.
In reply, Mason Crane (3-15) starred with the ball in the middle-overs as the away-side were restricted to 160-7 as Hampshire sealed their third consecutive win of the competition.
James Vince (34) got his side off to a great start, crunching back-to-back boundaries off just the second over of the game before smashing 18 runs off the very next over as Hampshire raced to 33-0 after 3 overs.
The Hampshire captain was motoring at a strike rate of more than 225, but was then dismissed with Tim Southee taking a good, high catch to give Toby Roland-Jones (4-39) his first wicket.
Despite this, Rilee Rossouw (30) continued the onslaught, hitting three boundaries in four balls to move his side onto 52-0 after five overs on a sunny evening on the South Coast.
Carberry was playing the supportive innings but then came into life, blasting 12 runs off the eight over as the hosts continued to progress at a rate 10 runs per over.
Rossouw was looking to play aggressively, but his innings came to an end when he holed out to James Franklin at long-on with Nathan Sowter (1-38) ending the 48-run partnership.
The hosts moved into three figures after 11 overs, with Carberry and George Bailey (28) continuing to rotate the strike and score boundaries frequently.
The pair then smashed a maximum apiece in the 14th over to propel their side up to 128-2, with Carberry hitting a four followed by a six as he brought up his half-century off just 32 balls.
An expensive over followed, with 21 runs coming off Tom Helm’s six balls as the hosts moved past 150 with five overs still left in the innings.
Bailey looked to emulate Carberry with back-to-back fours, but was caught by Dawid Malan searching for a third straight boundary to leave Hampshire on 163-3.
The hosts then suffered a slight wobble, losing both McManus (4) and Shahid Afridi (0) in quick succession with Hampshire progressing onto 170-5 in the penultimate over.
Carberry hit his fifth maximum of the innings, but three wickets from James Franklin (3-19) fell in the final over as Hampshire posted an imposing 189-8 from their 20 overs.
The batsman could not be kept of the game, and it was his fielding which took the plaudits this time, holding onto a catch to get rid of Paul Stirling (6) with Kyle Abbott making the breakthrough.
Brendon McCullum showed his intent by smashing a six, before he was brilliantly caught by a one-handed catch over his head from Rossouw to hand Reece Topley first wicket.
Gareth Berg (1-40) then picked up another wicket, reacting sharply for a caught and bowled to bring an end to Malan’s (3) stay at the crease as Middlesex slumped to 29-3.
Eoin Morgan and James Franklin looked to rebuild the innings, but the latter was run-out by Bailey looking for a quick single as with the visitors were in trouble on 36-4 after five overs.
Morgan was looking dangerous, and was helped by John Simpson as Middlesex began to form a partnership, but still needed more than 10 runs an over to win the game.
However, Crane came and dismissed his England colleague Morgan (23) with Berg taking the catch at deep long-off to restrict the visitors to 57-5.
The leg-spinner returned with another wicket in his very next over. Carberry was again involved, sprinting in from the deep to dismiss Ryan Higgins (4) before Middlesex slumped to 74-7 when Roland-Jones (5) was stumped by McManus.
Southee and John Simpson (37*) came together and progressed their side past the 100 mark, but the Hampshire attack were bowling tightly.
The pair then brought up the fifty partnership for the eighth wicket, with Southee making striking boundaries consistently to get his side up to a more respectable score.
The New Zealand international (64*) then brought up his half-century, but it was too little too late for the visitors as Hampshire sealed a 29 run victory.