Neil McKenzie steers Hampshire to T20 win at Sussex
Neil McKenzie's brilliant 71 led Friends Life t20 holders Hampshire to a thrilling final-over victory against Sussex.
Last Updated: 05/07/13 11:18pm
Sussex had made 145-6 when batting first at Hove, but Mckenzie managed to lead Hampshire to 148-5 and victory in a nail-biting finish.
The South Group's south coast derby clash looked to be going Sussex's way when Hampshire reached the final over still needing 12 to win on a tricky pitch.
But McKenzie, aided by a big slice of good fortune, got Hampshire home with three balls to spare as he flicked Chris Jordan's first ball for four to wide long leg, and gained six runs for a thin inside edge on to his pad from the second.
Chris Liddle's attempt to run him out going for a second run to fine leg saw the ball deflect off wicketkeeper Ben Brown's gloves and run all the way down to the unguarded long off boundary for four overthrows, and then McKenzie crashed Jordan's third ball, a low full toss, through extra cover for his eighth four and the winning blow.
Hampshire remain unbeaten in this year's competition, with two wins and a no result from their first three games, but this was a third defeat in four matches for Sussex.
McKenzie ultimately settled the game by dominating an unbroken 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Adam Wheater (12 not out) after Michael Carberry had given Hampshire a flying start with a superb 50 from 31 balls, which included three sixes and four fours.
Carberry pulled Liddle over square leg for six and then drove him over extra cover for another remarkable six later in a fifth over costing 19 runs, and initially he was harsh on Yardy, taking two fours from the seventh over as Hampshire sped past 50.
But, when Carberry was caught at point at 82-3 in the 10th over, making room to slash Chris Nash's off spin square, Sussex's spinners - like Hampshire's earlier in the evening - began to take a grip on the game.
Leg spinner Will Beer, who had Sean Ervine caught at long off for seven, bowled his four overs for just 15 runs while both Nash and Michael Yardy also helped to build up the pressure on Hampshire.
Nash had Liam Dawson lbw second ball for nought in the 14th over, sweeping, but 37-year-old former South African batsman McKenzie was equal to the situation in the end with a calm and cool effort.