Hampshire held their nerve in the Caribbean t20 to seal a remarkable 'super over' success against Barbados in Antigua last night.
The Royals, who were left humiliated by their defeat to minnows Canada in their opening group match, snatched a tie after taking the remaining two Barbados wickets in the final over, including one off the last ball of the match.
That sent the game into cricket's equivalent of a penalty shoot-out as Simon Jones continued his earlier heroics with the ball – where he claimed outstanding figures of four for 10 – to take two wickets in three deliveries and leave Hampshire needing just a single from their super over.
Sean Ervine had a brainstorm to attempt a reverse sweep off the first ball of that over, dragging on to his stumps to give Barbados renewed hope.
But after two nailbiting dot balls, James Vince clipped away a full toss off the fourth ball of Sulieman Benn's over to claim a remarkable win.
Manager Giles White said: 'We were a bit dejected after the Canada game but it was great to beat Barbados because they are a very good side.
'Jimmy Adams played a great knock and Simon Jones was awesome with the ball, especially in the super over.
'The boys dug in when they had to and it was a great win – even if it was bit nervy at the end.
'The finish to the game was like the Friends Provident t20 final all over again!'
Skipper Jimmy Adams (39) and Johann Myburgh (37) put on 85 for the first wicket and built a solid platform as Hampshire batted first.
But once both openers had perished in the 14th over, the Royals failed to find the necessary acceleration to get up beyond 150.
Vince struggled before Ervine added some late fireworks to drag the score up to 136 for three.
While it wasn't a huge total to defend, the Royals were definitely in the game at the halfway stage.
And their cause was boosted in the very first over as Jones struck the first blow to dismiss Kirk Edwards with a brute of a delivery.
The Welshman then grabbed a second soon afterwards to account for Jonathan Carter and leave Barbados teetering at 16 for two.
Dwayne Smith (50) appeared to be the biggest threat and he took Ervine to the cleaners with a 21-run over that included three sixes.
Hamza Riazuddin (two for 17) and Chris Wood (two for 33) then grabbed vital wickets and the Royals appeared to be favourites, with Barbados needing 21 off the final 12 balls with three wickets left.
But Carlo Morris heaved Wood for six off the final ball of the 19th over and Jones served up his one poor delivery with the first ball of the final over to go the same way, leaving Barbados needing just three off the final five balls to secure the win.
Jones, however, had other ideas and hit back as Morris (17) was caught in the deep by Liam Dawson. And with the scores then level, Tino Best needed just a single off the final delivery to claim the victory.
Jones kept his nerve, though, as Best went for glory but slashed it straight to Adams at backward point to send the game into a super over.
Jones secured unofficial figures of six for 10 – a superb effort – before Vince just about got the job done.
Meanwhile, White confirmed that Ervine will be leaving the club to resume his international career with Zimbabwe after the tournament as Hampshire start their search for a replacement all-rounder for the new campaign.
White said: 'I'm disappointed that Sean will be leaving but I fully understand the reasons for his decision.
'He has been a wonderful servant of the club and I wish him well in his future career.'