A first half-century of the T20 campaign for Rilee Rossouw proved to be in vain as Hampshire fell to a 14-run Vitality Blast defeat against Sussex Sharks at Hove.
Reece Topley picked up four wickets on his return from back surgery – his first T20 wickets since 2017 – ending Hampshire's brave pursuit of a target of 189 after Phil Salt's 73 had earlier helped the home-side post a score which felt par.
An unfortunate LBW call for Aneurin Donald was followed by the removal of Vince and Northeast in the same over, all off Topley.
At 18 for 3 it was a long way back for Hampshire but opener Rossouw made 60 off 38 balls with eight fours and a six, although his innings was interrupted after he was hit on the side of the helmet attempting a ramp shot off David Wiese and had to go off for treatment.
Lewis McManus also struck 32 off 15 balls before a late burst from Kyle Abbott took Hampshire close in their pursuit, but two wickets for Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and three for left-armer Danny Briggs ensured victory for the hosts.
The Sharks had been put in on a sticky, slow pitch and opener Salt, who was called into England’s T20 squad earlier this year, led the way with 73 off 46 balls while Wiese (44 not out) and Khan, (22 off seven balls), provided impetus at the end.
After a watchful start, Salt shared 53 for the first wicket with skipper Luke Wright (15) before the latter top-edged an attempted pull off Abbott.
Liam Dawson bowled with his excellent usual control to put the brakes on, conceding just 24 in his four overs, but Salt raced to a 28-ball 50.
Laurie Evans (15) and Delray Rawlins (6) went cheaply and Salt followed shortly after as he mis-timed an expansive extra cover drive off Chris Wood - one of the three wickets for the left-armer as he became Hampshire's all-tie leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket.
Wiese and Khan provided acceleration at the end if the innings as 44 runs were plundered from the last three overs.