Hampshire 181 for 5 (Vince 65) beat Sussex 180 for 8 (Garton 37, Bopara 35) by five wickets
Hampshire warmed up for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with their ninth victory in ten matches when they beat the Sussex Sharks by five wickets at Hove. For Sussex, it was their eighth defeat in their last nine games.
But Hampshire’s batting faltered after Vince skied Delray Rawlins to the keeper for a 42-ball 65. After the powerplay some tight bowling from Rashid Khan and Ravi Bopara and a flurry of middle-order wickets left them needing 43 off the final five overs and then 39 off the last three.
The match was something of a dead rubber as Hampshire had already qualified for the quarter-finals, while Sussex were out of the competition. For that reason Tom Alsop, originally signed on loan from Hampshire – but recently signed on a permanent basis – was given special permission to play, though ultimately illness meant he was not available.
The Sussex innings was full of cameos. They lost powerplay wickets and after five overs had scored only 28 runs for 2. In the second over the recently prolific Ali Orr skied Brad Wheal to Vince at mid-on. Then Josh Philippe lost his middle stump playing on to Chris Wood, who swung the ball in unpromising conditions.
Sussex red-ball captain Tom Haines, playing his first T20 game of the season, and Harrison Ward, took 21 off the sixth over, but then Ward lofted Tom Prest to long on and Haines was stumped charging a googly from Mason Crane. Rawlins swatted two sixes in a 22-ball 29 and Bopara made 35 off 25.
The most entertaining batting came at the end. Garton top-scored with 37 off just 17 deliveries, with three fours and three sixes, one a vast one over long-on. And Rashid scored a typically unorthodox 25 off a dozen balls. Somehow, Sussex had scrambled together a competitive score.