An incredible innings from James Vince (90) saw Hampshire claim a crucial victory over Sussex in the NatWest T20 Blast clast at Hove
Vince looked in sensational form as he combined well with good support from Adam Wheater (51) and Owais Shah (40), and the skipper finished unbeaten as he guided Hampshire to 204-3 from their allotted overs, their highest T20 total for five years.
Chris Nash did his best to see Sussex towards a record run-chase but the visitors ultimately fell just short in the final over with Hampshire picking up two important points.
Hampshire began their innings in positive fashion after being inserted to bat first, with Michael Carberry (14) and Vince guiding their side to 39-0 after just four overs.
Despite the loss of the former, Vince combined excellently with the in-form Wheater to continue to momentum as the powerplay concluded and the partnership blossomed superbly throughout the often difficult middle overs.
The hard-hitting duo combined effectively throughout the middle overs to steer the visitors past 100 for the loss of just one wicket with just 12 overs gone.
Vince was first to his fifty inside the same over, before Wheater too brought up the milestone – his second consecutive half-century in the competition.
He was unfortunate to fall the next ball but as he was dismissed, the aggressive Vince pushed on further and with good support coming from the equally attacking Shah, Hampshire looked to be heading for a commanding total at 165-2 with three overs still remaining.
An incredible 39 runs were added from the final 18 deliveries with Vince finishing the innings unbeaten and guiding his side past 200 to finish with an imposing first-innings total.
In reply, Nash and Luke Wright (42) led the attack early for the hosts as he they raced to 60-0 inside the opening five overs.
Nash brought up his quick-fire fifty with just seven overs gone and as the home-side continued to enjoy profitable overs after the powerplay as both men kicked-on from their promising starts.
Sussex looked to have gained the initiative after the opening overs but vital wickets from Yasir Arafat (1-40) and Mason Crane (1-34), including that of Wright saw the opposition on the back-foot.
However, yet more boundaries from Nash saw the momentum shift once again and as he accumulated well, the required rate began to reduce at a rapid rate.
With a hefty total on the board, the right-hander did his best to see Sussex further towards their target and with just 40 needed from the final four overs it looked to be going to the wire until two wickets in the 17th over from Chris Wood (3-40) ensured the favour looked to rest back with Hampshire.
Wood struck again in the penultimate over as Finch (2) departed cheaply but two sixes from the final two balls from Craig Cachopa (23*) saw Sussex needing 10 runs from the final over.
With the game on the line, the experienced Arafat bowled with magnificent skill to ensure Sussex picked up just 5 runs from the last six deliveries to see Hampshire grab victory and two vital points.