Adam Wheater returned to haunt Hampshire as Essex snatched T20 Blast victory at the Ageas Bowl.
The 27-year-old swapped the south coast for Chelmsford at the end of the 2016 season after losing his role as wicket-keeper to Lewis McManus.
And he showed his former club what they let go with a tub-thumping 50 that helped the visitors reach the 169-run target set by the hosts with two balls to spare.
He reached a 25-ball half century with four fours and four sixes, before being bowled, while chopping on, by Liam Dawson.
James Foster, however, picked up where Wheater left off to clinch the win with an impressive unbeaten 33.
Earlier, George Bailey clattered his highest T20 score of 89 to hold together a promising Hampshire total of 168 for six that suffered the worst possible start.
James Vince was bowled lbw to Mohammad Amir first ball, before Tom Alsop was a stumped two overs later.
Rilee Rossouw (36) helped steady the ship along side Bailey, but their 54-run partnership wasn’t enough as Essex claimed the win.