James Hamblin won the Man of the Match award, after helping Hampshire Hawks to a thrilling 5 run victory over Sussex Sharks in the inaugural Twenty20 match at The Rose Bowl in front of a sell out crowd and the Sky TV viewers.
The sun beat down when Chris Adams won the toss and chose to insert the Hawks, a decision he must have rued as Hampshire came out of the blocks firing. Hamblin and Derek Kenway set up an opening stand of 66 in 7 overs before Hamblin was bowled off Jason Lewry's first delivery. He had struck 7 fours in his 27 balls stay.
Kenway continued the good work, but Hampshire by this stage were losing wickets at a steady pace, stifling their ability to score runs quickly. Twenty not out from the captain enabled the home side to pass the 150 mark, finishing all-out with two balls remaining. Mark Davis was the pick of the Sussex bowlers, his 3 overs costing just 13 runs taking 3 wickets.
Sussex's reply started shakily, with Prior, Goodwin and skipper Adams all dismissed for 27 runs. Bas Zuiderent and Robin Martin-Jenkins rallied, and then wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose brought the game to a scintillating close. He scored 54 not out (7 fours and 1 six) in just 39 balls, as the Sharks were left needing 10 to win in the last over. Wasim Akram, Shaun Udal and Alan Mullally all bowled out, it was left to New Hampshire boy, Ed Giddins.
With the crowd on the edge of their seats, Ambrose played and missed with the first ball, took a single with his second, the saw Mushtaq bowled with the third, Davis and Ambrose shared a single each, by which time barring a no ball or a wide the Hawks had opened with a vital victory, and some revenge for the ignominious defeat in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Cup a few weeks before against the same team