Stirling secures Middlesex victory
Middlesex 161 for 4 (Stirling 71) beat Hampshire 157 for 6 (Vince 64, Roland-Jones 4-25) by six wickets
Ireland batsman Paul Stirling's belligerent 71 guided Middlesex to a six-wicket Friends Life t20 win over Hampshire at West End.
Stirling clubbed eight fours and two sixes in his 49-ball innings and was ably supported by Dawid Malan's 46 as Middlesex bounced back from their opening two defeats in the competition and ended Hampshire's impressive home run of eleven successive wins - dating back to July 2010 - in the process.
Hampshire, put in by Middlesex captain Neil Dexter, made 157 for 6 from their 20 overs, with James Vince putting behind him a disappointing season thus far to top-score with 64 not out. At one stage Hampshire were 83 for 5 but Vince and skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas began a recovery with a stand of 44 for the sixth wicket.
Toby Roland-Jones conceded only nine from his first two overs while taking three wickets and finished with impressive figures of 4 for 25. The fast bowler dismissed openers Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry while Neil McKenzie, making his first appearance of the season, was caught by Ollie Rayner at short fine-leg off his second delivery.
Roland-Jones returned later to bowl Mascarenhas but Vince moved to his half-century off 42 balls and at the close of the innings had hit five fours and a six from 47 deliveries.
Middlesex made a poor start to their response with Kabir Ali bowling Joe Denly and Mascarenhas having danger man Chris Rogers snapped up by Sean Ervine with only 18 on the board.
But then came the match-winning partnership between powerfully-built Stirling and Malan for the third wicket. Stirling and Malan put on 107 in 13 overs and there was no way back after that for Hampshire.
Malan went for 46 in the 16th over but big-hitting Stirling took Middlesex within sight of victory before lofting Ervine to Carberry at midwicket. Middlesex coasted to victory, requiring ten from the final two overs and a single from Kabir Ali's last over of the match, with Berg duly hitting the second ball for four to ensure an unexpected win.