Holders Hampshire make winning start
Hampshire 144-5 (Carberry 60, McKenzie 37*) beat Surrey 139-6 (Briggs 2-20, Griffiths 2-23) by five wickets
It's every kid's dream, isn't it? Winning a Twenty20 match with a huge six in the final over.
Adam Wheater did just that to ensure that Hampshire, the most formidable Twenty20 side in England in recent years, saw off Surrey in emphatic fashion on the opening night of Friends Life t20. In truth this felt like a straightforward victory for Hampshire, the Twenty20 holders, even though they passed Surrey's total with only four balls to spare.
Michael Carberry's explosive 60 from 45 balls set up their victory, before the artistry of Neil McKenzie saw them home. Skipper for the night in place of the injured Dimitri Mascarenhas, McKenzie caressed the ball around, proving once again his considerable class with bat in hand.
A healthy crowd of 6,491 soaked up the sunshine at the Ageas Bowl, with some 'lucky' youngsters enjoying the game from a pitch-side hot-tub - their patience sorely tested as the TV cameras zoomed in on them with breathtaking impertinence.
Surrey's captain Gareth Batty had won the toss and elected to bat, his side getting off to a good start as Jason Roy and Rory Burns accelerated at seven an over. Hampshire rotated their bowlers as they looked for a breakthrough, before the impressively rapid David Griffiths beat Roy for pace, Surrey 31 for 1.
Danny Briggs, released by England, made the drive down from the T20 squad in London to play in this match, and the locals were glad he did as his second over brought about a double breakthrough. First Solanki was bowled trying to guide the ball down to third man, before Burns stepped across his stumps and was bowled behind his legs.
That brought Glenn Maxwell, a former Hampshire player, to the crease. Luck did not favour his return: he managed 15 before top-edging David Griffiths onto his own helmet, the ball lolloping into the air to be caught by McKenzie at gully.
Wilson and Ansari then put on 49 taking Surrey to 139 for 6 - probably 20 runs short of a par score - with Isle of Wight pair Briggs (2-20) and Griffiths (2-23) the pick of the Hampshire bowlers. Maxwell clearly felt the urge to impress his former employers, bowling the first over of Hampshire's riposte. It took Carberry just four balls to get the measure of his old team-mate however, driving him for four with ominous intent.
McKenzie joined Carberry in the eighth over, and it was a contrast in styles as the South African worked the ball into gaps that you couldn't close up with Polyfilla, whilst Carberry powered onto his 12th Twenty20 fifty in the 13th over. He fell next over as he was trapped in front playing across the line to Zander De Bruyn but, by then, the damage had been done.
Surrey threatened to peg back Hampshire in the 16th over when first Dunn dived at full stretch to deny Sean Ervine a certain four along the boundary rope, before bowler de Bruyn - who finished with impressive figures of 3 for 14 - took a sharp return catch from the same batsman next ball. But Hampshire pressed on, and Wheater's maximum - or was it, as the ball looked to bounce short of the boundary rope from the press box - sealed an important first win for the holders in this competitive South Division.