Hampshire hold nerve in face of David Wiese onslaught

Tom Alsop acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century Getty Images

Hampshire 355 for 5 (Markram 130, Alsop 124) Sussex 346 (Wiese 171, Brown 64, Crane 3-55) by

Hampshire edged out a high scoring thriller as Kyle Abbott and Mason Crane held their nerves after Sussex Sharks produced a second unbelievable Royal London Cup match in three days.

David Wiese scored an epic 171 to take Sussex within 13 runs of victory after they had slipped to 103 for 5 chasing a massive 356 to win. But Abbott's 10th over, the 49th of the match saw the game turn back in Hampshire's direction as he got rid of Wiese and Danny Briggs and only went for nine runs.

Crane took three wickets for 55, including two in the final over to put Hampshire on the brink of a knockout spot with a nine-run victory.

The result was as dramatic as the Sharks' one-wicket victory over Essex on Tuesday, which saw Will Beer and Laurie Evans put on a three-figure stand for the seventh wicket before No. 10 Danny Briggs scored the winning runs with a ball to spare.

On that occasion, the Sussex players had sung "The Great Escape" on their return to the dressing room. But at the Ageas Bowl, Hampshire sang the theme to the classic film.

It looked like a regulation Hampshire win was in order when Luke Wright fell in the third over as Abbott jagged a delivery into his middle-stump before Phil Salt flashed to Aneurin Donald at point. The slide continued when Garton was lbw attempting to reverse sweep Liam Dawson and Harry Finch pulled a James Fuller bouncer to deep square leg.

When Dawson bowled Evans, all appeared lost for Sussex - but Wiese and Ben Brown collided to swing the game towards the visitors.

Wiese had proven his batting prowess earlier in the tournament when he scored 93 not out to seal a chase against Surrey. Wiese went through the gears effectively as he reached his half-century in 57 balls, and then only needed 26 more to reach three figures, with six fours and three maximums included in the barrage.

Alongside Wiese, Brown was quietly accompanying with a pacy half-century of his own.

Wiese took the WASP from a 1% chance of victory to 81% as he moved past 150 in 120 balls. Brown departed for 64 with 21 still to win when he reverse-swept to Dawson at backward point.

But Abbott found Wiese rarely mishitting to long-on before Briggs chipped to Gareth Berg. And a crazy game was concluded when Crane had Beer and Mir Hamza stumped.

Earlier, Hampshire had put up what appeared an unassailable 355 after stand-in captain Sam Northeast won the toss and elected to bat. Hampshire were forced to reshuffle their top order with James Vince on England duty in Ireland, Donald moving up to open with Tom Alsop.

The pair put on 78, a best opening stand for the season, in a watchful manner, which prioritised running hard to boundaries.

Donald was well caught on the square-leg boundary, while pulling, but that didn't deter Hampshire as Aiden Markram joined Alsop. Again, the duo refused to take unnecessary risks but when they did they used their power to explosive effect - Markram pumping a pair of sixes over extra-cover a particular highlight from the stand.

Alsop looked steady while reaching a half-century in 71 balls. But it was Markram who brought the glamour often provided by Vince, with glittering drives - half of his 16 fours coming between cover and mid-on - and pressure-relieving punches. His fifty came from 48 deliveries.

Sussex's fielding was well-below par, and probably cost them a chunk of runs, with Markram and Alsop both shelled on the way to three figures. The partnership continued to blossom and took Hampshire to the last 10 overs just one wicket down before Alsop, having reached his century off 116 balls, picked out Garton at long-off, with the stand worth 184.

Markram continued his fun and reached his maiden ton for Hampshire in his penultimate fixture before the World Cup, from 73 balls.

Rilee Rossouw and Fuller were hoisted up the order to boost the run rate but both departed, alongside Markram, in the last five overs while attempting aggressive shots - as in the end Hampshire scored just enough.

Sussex 2nd innings Partnerships

1st18LJ WrightPD Salt
2nd34GHS GartonPD Salt
3rd6HZ FinchGHS Garton
4th16LJ EvansHZ Finch
5th29D WieseLJ Evans
6th232D WieseBC Brown
7th8D WieseWAT Beer
8th1WAT BeerDR Briggs
9th2WAT BeerA Sakande
10th0A SakandeMir Hamza