Calvin Dickinson fired Hampshire to a six-wicket win over Kent Spitfires in the NatWest T20 Blast last night.
The keeper-batsman struck a sublime 24-ball 51 as the visitors chased down a target of 168 with 16 deliveries to spare at Canterbury.
And Dickinson’s heroics were enough to send Hampshire back to the summit of the south group table – putting them in pole position to reach the quarter-finals.
In only his second appearance in the short-form game, the diminutive Durban-born Dickinson cracked eight fours and two sixes to get the Ageas Bowl outfit off to a flying start in their pursuit of Kent’s 167 for seven.
Following his pyrotechnics, Hampshire skipper James Vince played a typically level-headed innings of 57 off 36 balls to earn his side’s seventh win and put them back on top of the table.
It is the first time they have led the race for the knockout stages since reeling off three consecutive wins at the start of the campaign.
Dickinson, who made his debut in the win over Glamorgan on Thursday night, said: ‘It’s been a brilliant couple of days for me.
‘It is really nice to get out there and play some first-team cricket.
‘Kent were biting at our heels going into this game, so this was a vital win.
‘We have probably done enough to qualify now but it would be great to get a home quarter-final.
‘We needed impetus from the start, so James and I spoke about one of us going hard at the top. When it’s your day you just have to make the most of it.’
Dickinson and Vince shared a stand of 72 in 32 balls for the first wicket.
Tom Alsop (32) then added a further 79 with his skipper before George Bailey and Sean Ervine finished the job.
Earlier, Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott (both two for 25) had starred with the ball.
They helped restrict Kent to 167 for seven despite Sam Northeast (59) and Sam Billings (40) looking dangerous.