Hampshire started their Natwest T20 Blast campaign with a rare home defeat as they went down to Glamorgan by 10 runs at the Ageas Bowl.
James Vince’s side, looking for a fifth straight finals day, were some way short of their best as the Welsh club exacted instant revenge for their Championship defeat earlier in the week.
After the visitors posted 161 for seven from their 20 overs, Hampshire’s batting failed to fire until Sean Ervine (27) and Matt Coles (42) dragged them back into contention with a 62-run stand.
But it proved to be too little, too late as they came up short.
Glamorgan got off to a flying start in their innings as they raced to 51 for one in the first six overs, as the loss of the retired Dimi Mascarenhas was keenly felt for the home side.
With Kyle Abbott and Sean Ervine opening the bowling, there wasn’t quite the same control that encapsulated much of the club’s success in recent years, with their former skipper’s wily bowling so often putting the brakes on rivals’ hopes for a fast start.
But Danny Briggs – in for his first appearance of the season – showed he had lost none of his guile with three for 26, with two of those wickets down to sharp stumpings from Michael Bates.
Despite Glamorgan’s brisk start, Briggs, Will Smith (one for 11) and Liam Dawson (one for 29) helped stem the flow as Abbott (nought for 43) struggled to make inroads on his Hampshire t20 debut, going for a costly 16 runs from the penultimate over.
That took the Welsh outfit to a competitive total, especially after they had been put into bat by Vince.
While the hosts will have fancied their chances of chasing it down, Michael Carberry – selected for England earlier in the week – was unable to hammer home his credentials to make the team against Sri Lanka next week when he departed for just four as he was bowled by Will Owen (three for 32).
Jimmy Adams (nine) then picked out the fielder at short fine leg, and the responsibility was heaped on Vince even further when Liam Dawson (10) was forced off with what appeared to be a groin injury.
Although Carberry was summoned back on to the pitch to be his runner, Dawson was clearly in discomfort as he faced every delivery and was unable to continue shortly afterwards.
When Vince was stumped for an impressive 38 just moments after a glorious six, Hampshire’s hopes appeared to be over.
But promoting Coles up the order ahead of Will Smith and Joe Gatting proved to be an inspired decision as he began to pepper the boundary with regularity with some tremendous power hitting.
That took the home side to a position of needing 34 runs from the final 24 balls but the 17th over was then pivotal as Owen bamboozled Ervine (27) with a slower delivery to end what was looking like a match-winning partnership.
After Smith’s run-out, the boundaries then dried up just when they were needed as Hampshire required 24 from the final two overs.
That was reduced to 18 for the final over – and it proved too many as Coles was bowled off the penultimate delivery to seal their fate.