A big-hitting 86 from Dawid Malan fired Middlesex to a three-wicket victory in their Friends Life t20 clash with Essex at Lord's.
Essex made a flying start as they elected to bat after winning the toss at the home of cricket, but their 170 proved to be just not enough as the hosts got home to make 174-3 with two balls to spare.
Mark Pettini and Hamish Rutherford came out swinging at the start of Essex's innings, with the New Zealand left-hander firing a huge six into the upper tier of the stands at Lord's.
The duo had put on 59 in five overs when Rutherford was bowled by Toby Roland-Jones for 38 off just 17 balls, and Pettini followed soon after for 37.
Essex's powerful middle order failed to capitalise fully on the fast start by the openers, with Ravi Bopara making 32 not out off 28 balls as the best of the rest.
Graham Napier made his usual big-hitting impact on the game as he smashed 24 from just eight balls, but he was running out of deliveries when he bowled by Kyle Mills with just two balls left of the innings.
Spin did the trick for Middlesex, with debutant Ravi Patel claiming a wicket and conceding just 17 runs from four overs, while even part timers proved tough for Essex to get away.
The visitors did not have the same bowling options, and Middlesex came out flying knowing a fast start was essential to their run chase.
Paul Stirling went for a struggling five off 11 balls, but that only brought Joe Denly out to partner Malan at the crease and the two men pile on 86 runs together to fire Middlesex towards victory.
Malan eventually went for 86 from just 55 balls with three sixes and ten fours, and although that saw the innings lose some momentum, Denly hung around to see the game through.
Denly finished with 52 not out as, despite a couple of scares, Middlesex got home with just two balls to spare.