Hamish Rutherford smashed 84 from 43 balls as Essex beat Sussex by seven wickets to boost their hopes of qualifying from the Friends Life t20 South Group.
Rutherford helped his side make light work of a target of 147 at Hove as Essex won with 17 balls to spare, moving above Middlesex into second place in the table in the process.
The New Zealander was brutal on the off side, where he hit four of his five sixes. He also struck nine fours, showing no mercy on any of the seven bowlers Sussex employed.
Rutherford and opening partner Greg Smith were more than halfway to their target after the six-over powerplay at 78 without loss.
Smith fell for 42 in the 12th over, smartly stumped by debutant Callum Jackson but it was a rare moment of relief for Sussex, the pre-tournament favourites who have won just one of their eight matches.
Sussex had earlier made 146-8 after winning the toss, a score that never looked like being enough on a good pitch with a lightning-fast outfield.
Accurate seam bowling restricted Sussex to 40 runs from the powerplay and when they tried to accelerate, their progress was checked by the regular loss of key wickets.
Dwayne Smith made 25 before he holed out to deep midwicket and David Masters struck again in the 13th over as Rory Hamilton-Brown (31) was strangled down the leg side.
Essex's most impressive bowler was Reece Topley. Having just been hit out of the ground by Scott Styris for six off the previous ball, he switched to bowling round the wicket and had the same batsman (22) held on the boundary off the next delivery.
Skipper Chris Nash (22) also looked capable of providing some acceleration at the end of the innings until he was caught off a top edged-pull to give the otherwise wayward Shaun Tait his only wicket. Topley returned to take three wickets in the final over to finish with 4-26.