Michael Carberry led the way with a knock of 73 as Hampshire beat Kent by 22 runs in their NatWest T20 Blast clash at the Ageas Bowl.
Opener Carberry, who was overlooked by the England selectors for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, made the decisive contribution in Hampshire’s total of 171-7.
Kent had looked on course to mount a serious assault on the target, with Rob Key scoring an unbeaten 89, but they were tripped up late on and finished on 141-4.
Two wickets in an over from Danny Briggs really put the brakes on and Key was left attempting to finish the job with a middle order trying to get its eye in.
Much of the pre-match talk had centred around Glenn Maxwell, the Indian Premier League MVP who was making his seasonal debut, but it was Carberry who led the home side's batting.
James Vince (5) went in the second over, pulling Doug Bollinger to mid-wicket, before Jimmy Adams turned up the heat with a switch-hit six off Adam Riley.
The spinner would eventually trap Adams for 47 and that brought Maxwell to the middle but, after putting his third ball out of the ground he holed out to James Tredwell for seven.
Carberry continued on to his half-century, with Owais Shah (11) and Sean Ervine (1) perishing around him. He was eventually cleaned up by Bollinger (3-19) after a 64-ball knock, before a couple of late blows from Chris Wood (12 not out) topped up the total.
Kent's response started well but Daniel Bell-Drummond went after five overs of it, finding the hands of Vince off Briggs' first ball for 12.
That brought Key and Sam Northeast together and the two went on to post an 89-run stand with the latter the junior partner - although Key did survive when Vince put him down on 53.
Northeast livened up with a six and a four in successive balls before being caught at gully for 35.
That brought Darren Stevens to the middle, but after being dropped by Ervine in the deep with his first ball he failed to make the most of the reprieve as Briggs (3-28) cleaned him up with his second to depart for one.
Billings also went in the same over and then Key thought he was out too, believing he was bowled off Wood. He came back, though, when he realised he had been incorrectly stumped.
The opener went on to finish 11 short of a century but more importantly short of the win.