Cachopa blazes Sussex to derby win
Sussex 158 for 3 (Cachopa 89*, Machan 52*) beat Hampshire 157 for 6 (Vince 41) by seven wickets
Craig Cachopa smashed his highest career T20 score to end Sussex's hoodoo against Hampshire as they thrashed the early South Group pacesetters by seven wickets.
New Zealander Cachopa struck a fantastic 89 not out at the Ageas Bowl as Sussex chased down a victory target of 158 to beat their south-coast rivals for the first time in eight attempts. Cachopa was brilliantly accompanied by Matt Machan, who scored an unbeaten 52 as the pair put on 144 for the fourth wicket, knocking off the winning runs with eight balls to spare.
Sussex started atrociously as they lost former England international Luke Wright in the second over to a stunning catch from Will Smith off Chris Wood. And Wood picked up a second two balls later as Mahela Jayawardene loosely edged behind to end his stint on the south coast with 4 off five balls.
The procession to and from the dugout continued in the next over as Gareth Berg took his first T20 wicket for Hampshire as Ben Brown chipped straight to Sean Ervine. That left Sussex in deep trouble on 14 for 3 but Cachopa and Machan reconstructed the innings, striking 50 off 36 deliveries before two monstrous overs off spinners Danny Briggs and Smith went for 32 runs.
Cachopa collected his second career T20 half-century - after earlier passing 1000 T20 career runs - with a late cut for four. The stand for the fourth wicket passed 100, with a colossal Cachopa six over long-off, in exactly 12 overs.
The 23-year-old clobbered a six over the concourse and into the Nursery Ground before easing past his previous highest T20 score of 79 with a sweetly timed on drive as the visitors cruised home with room to spare.
Earlier, Sussex won the toss and elected to field and restricted Hampshire to a below-par 157 for 6. Michael Carberry began watchfully before clubbing the first boundary of the evening straight down the ground off Ollie Robinson from the match's fourth ball.
Fellow opener James Vince was lucky not to be caught second ball as he gloved behind and the very next delivery the skipper became the fourth Hampshire player to score 2000 T20 runs for the county - after Carberry, Jimmy Adams and Ervine - with a crisply struck cut for four.
Carberry was dropped at mid-on by a slow moving Tymal Mills before Vince used the former Essex man's pace to dispatch the game's first maximum over square leg in the next over.
Mills atoned for his drop as he forced Carberry into looping a top edge off his hips to Chris Liddle at short fine leg to depart for 10. Vince offloaded some of the building pressure with slog sweep six but two balls latter Michael Yardy cleverly dragged the ball wide of off stump to have the recent England call-up stumped for a classy 41.
The wicket of the talismanic Vince caused a panic for Hampshire as they lost Adams - who went for well-made 21 to give Machan his first T20 wicket for Sussex - and Ervine as spin became king.
Adam Wheater and Owais Shah got Hampshire back on track with a 32-ball 50 partnership - the former reverse sweeping to take the home side past 100 in the 15th over. The pair both departed playing one shot too many, though, as Hampshire disappointed in front of a season-high 7200 at the Ageas Bowl.