Hampshire 177 for 4 (Maxwell 60*, Katich 42*) beat Hampshire 176 for 4 (Franklin 78) by 6 wickets

Glenn Maxwell produced another explosive innings to carry Hampshire to victory in the Twenty20 South group clash against Essex at Chelmsford. The 23-year-old Australian smashed an unbeaten 60 from only 24 balls as the visitors overhauled their opponents' total of 176 for 4 with six wickets and 12 balls to spare.

Thirty of those came in one over against left-arm spinner Tim Phillips, the 17th of the innings. Maxwell smashed him for three sixes, all of which went out of the ground, and he was to win the match with his fourth, a mighty blow over mid-wicket against Graham Napier.

Keeping him company during the blitz which also included six fours, was Simon Katich. He stroked the ball around in a more orthodox manner while scoring 42 from 38 balls and taking part in an unbroken stand of 83 in six overs.

Maxwell's explosion of shots came a few days after he struck a match-winning 66 from 32 balls in the victory over Kent and leaves Hampshire well on course for a place in the quarter-finals.

Essex had looked set for a much bigger total as openers James Franklin and Mark Pettini scored at around 10 an over during an opening stand of 83, brought to an end when slow left-armer Liam Dawson had Pettini caught in the deep for 38.

Pettini's effort off 26 balls contained three sixes but it was Franklin who went on to play the starring role with an innings full of quality. His 78 from a 49 deliveries included five sixes and he was looking set for a century when he drove Sean Ervine into the hands of James Vince at long-on.

James Foster predictably added momentum late on with a quickfire unbeaten 30 from only 14 balls, striking two sixes in the final over of the innings sent down by Maxwell. But Maxwell was to have the final word.