James Vince struck a classy half-century as Hampshire made it back-to-back wins in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast with a 19-run victory over local rivals Sussex at Hove.
Vince (81) batted brilliantly to put his side in control from the outset, as Hampshire posted a commanding total of 188-3 from their 20 overs.
In reply, Kyle Abbott (3-22) and Mason Crane (2-24) led the bowling attack impressively as Sussex limped to 169-7, seeing Hampshire to their second victory in two contests.
After a cautious start to proceedings, Rilee Rossouw (46) kick-started the innings smashing a maximum followed by another boundary to move his side onto 13-0 after two overs.
James Vince then propelled Hampshire to a commanding position at the end of the third over, crunching four consecutive boundaries off the bowling of Jofra Archer to race his side onto 33-0.
The Hampshire captain then recorded his sixth boundary of the innings in the following over, as the visitors finished their powerplay in a healthy position at 48-0.
Vince was on the charge, and the opener hit another three boundaries in the eighth over, before racing to his first half-century of this year's competition, the landmark coming off just 34 balls.
Rossouw was also firing, crashing the ball to all parts at the 1st Central County Ground with 20 runs coming off the 10th over.
That brought up the 100 partnership between the pair before Rossouw was caught in the deep by Chris Jordan looking to bring up his half-century in style.
Despite the loss of the opening wicket, Vince continued to motor along on at an exceptional rate, hitting his 12th boundary of his innings, with 13 runs coming off an expensive 12th over as Hampshire raced to 122-1.
The Hampshire captain was supported by Michael Carberry and the pair hit the ball into the crowd at regular intervals with 15 runs coming off the 15thover to move their side onto 149-1.
Vince was eventually bowled by Archer (1-35) as his outstanding innings came to an end, with the batsman bludgeoning 13 boundaries off just 48 balls.
The hosts did fight back as Hampshire were restricted to 154-3, but Michael Carberry (41*) was striking the ball well, and responded with 11 off the 18thover of the game.
Carberry (42*) took the attack to Jordan (1-29), totalling 12 runs off the penultimate over as the visitors recovered to progress onto 183-3.
He and George Bailey (7*) guided their side to 188-3 off their 20 overs, with Sussex needing 189 runs to win the contest.
Chris Nash and Luke Wright got Sussex off to a fast start in reply, with the pair scoring 29 runs in the opening three overs of the run chase.
Abbott was bowling economically, and he made the crucial breakthrough in his second over, with Nash (21) chipping it straight to Rossouw at mid-on to reduce Sussex to 33-1.
Wright was looking dangerous, but wickets were falling around him as Vince took a superb catch in the deep to dismiss Ben Brown (1) off Gareth Berg with the hosts progressing onto 47-2.
Former England international Wright was progressing nicely, smashing six boundaries and was well supported by Ross Taylor as Sussex raced to 84-2 after 9 overs.
Wright raced to his half-century before Crane picked up the crucial wicket, with Rossouw taking another catch in the deep at mid-on to reduce the hosts to 96-3.
The leg-spinner then dismissed the other set batsman as Taylor (27) was brilliantly stumped by Lewis McManus as Hampshire clawed the game back to reduce Sussex to 102-4.
David Wiese and Laurie Evans then came together and rallied for the hosts, smashing 14 runs in each of the next three proceeding overs as they raced to 147-4 with just three overs to go.
Abbott came on and ended the crucial partnership, with Vince taking a catch high above him in the covers to dismiss Evans (20) before Abbott removed Jofra Archer (2) two balls later as Hampshire collapsed to 151-6.
Any hopes of a possible victory for Sussex were dashed off the first ball of the very next over as Wiese (28) holed out to Sean Ervine off the bowling of Gareth Berg (2-44) with the visitors taking their third wicket in four balls to turn the game on its head.
With 29 runs required off the final six balls of the innings, Abbott held his nerve as Hampshire made it back-to-back wins with a 19-run victory in this season’s T20 Blast.