Chris Gayle smashed 85 from just 49 balls to secure an eight wicket win for Somerset and condemn Hampshire to their second defeat in the NatWest T20 Blast.
An unbeaten half-century from James Vince (64*) did lead the visitors to 167-3 from 20 overs before the West Indian batsman hit 8 sixes and 4 fours during his 49-ball stay at the crease to see Somerset home.
The defeat leaves Hampshire with three wins and two defeats from their opening five matches.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first at a small ground like Taunton, it was imperative that openers Michael Carberry (20) and James Vince (64*) got Hampshire off to a flying start.
And that’s exactly what they did, hitting a quickfire 46 from the first five overs.
Despite the wicket of Carberry to former Hampshire seamer Sohail Tanvir (1-37), the Hants skipper continued to tick the score along nicely for the visitors alongside Jimmy Adams, who hit 4 fours during his more than useful knock of 23.
It was in middle period that saw Somerset bowl at their best, with Jim Allenby (1-11) and Max Waller (0-33) in particular standing out to stop Hants from pushing to an imposing total.
Not for the first time this season, Sean Ervine (30*) showed how valuable he is in the latter overs of the innings as he supported Vince brilliantly, hitting 3 fours and 1 sixes during his 17-ball stay at the crease.
The Hampshire skipper reached his fifty in just 44 balls (5 fours), as the visitors posted 167-3 from their 20 overs.
Much was talked about the battle between Fidel Edwards (1-20) and Gayle before the match and it was the Hampshire seamer who had the first advantage, picking up a wicket maiden with his first over to dismiss Gayle’s opening partner, Marcus Trescothick (1).
Despite great early spells from Edwards and Will Smith (0-45), the visitors knew wickets were required with a certain big-hitting West Indian batsman still at the crease.
To the sold out Taunton crowd’s surprise, it was Peter Trego (51), who was troubling the scorers more than Gayle during the middle overs as the pair ticked the score along nicely at the required rate.
Trego’s departure to the impressive Danny Briggs (1-40) was much needed for Hampshire, but whilst Gayle was at the crease, Somerset continued to stay at the required run-rate for the majority of the innings.
It was the self-proclaimed ‘World Boss’ who saw the hosts over the line, he hit 8 sixes in total during the match as Somerset secured their second victory of the competition.