Southern Brave 147 for 8 (Jordan 70*, Rauf 3-23) beat Welsh Fire 145 for 7 (Wiley 31, Mills 2-23) by two runs
Chris Jordan smashed an exhilarating 70 off 32 balls to give Southern Brave their first Hundred victory of 2023 in a two-run nail-biter over Welsh Fire.
England star Jordan dragged Brave from 76 for 8 - with Pakistan quick Haris Rauf taking three wickets - to 147 with seven ginormous sixes and a trio of fours for just his second T20 half-century. Legspin sensation Rehan Ahmed, Craig Overton and last-set hero Tymal Mills all claimed two wickets as the 2021 winners bounced back from their opening game defeat to Trent Rockets.
Brave were stuck in and after 76 balls were eight down and looking down the barrel of an embarrassing sub-three-figure total. Fast bowler Rauf was the main architect of the slaughter with 3 for 23 - picking up Finn Allen caught behind off a bouncer, bowling George Garton and bouncing James Fuller out. All done for Rauf's express pace.
Shaheen Shah Afridi returned to the Ageas Bowl for the first time since taking four in four balls in the Vitality Blast three years ago and had Devon Conway gloving behind. James Vince, Tim David, Leus du Plooy and Rehan also fell cheaply.
Jordan had 8 off 14 balls when Rehan was run out before exploding in a style which got the 12,403 fans at the Ageas Bowl rocking.
He thumped Rauf down the ground for his first six, fast forward to 22 off 19 balls and Roelof van der Merwe's left arm spin bore the brunt of three consecutive sixes as long-off, midwicket and square leg were cleared, before clipping David Payne off his legs for a stylish maximum as his fifty came up in 26 balls.
Two more sixes and 19 runs off the last five balls took the stand with Overton to 71 in 25 balls, with Jordan contributing 62 of them.
David dropped a dolly to give Luke Wells a life with the first ball of the reply but Joe Clarke suffered his second golden duck in a row. Wells slogged to long-on and Stephen Eskinazi - who had scooped his first ball for an audacious six - was stumped after a 41-run stand between the pair as Rehan's legspin caused problems.
Tom Abell drilled to cover, Glenn Phillips' top edge picked out deep fine and Fuller's parsimonious first 15 balls went for just 11 runs to put Brave in the box seat. Willey hit two sixes off Fuller's last five before Ben Green went six, four, caught at long-on to make the equation 14 off seven balls.
Willey scored eight off the first four balls of the last set but needing three off the last he was caught at point as the ground bounced.