Michael Carberry played the decisive innings as Hampshire beat Kent Spitfires by 22 runs to increase their advantage at the top of the NatWest T20 Blast South Group.
Opener Carberry was overlooked for England’s squad for the first Investec Test against Sri Lanka earlier in the day, but while his name was not on the list he made sure it stayed in the headlines with a score of 73 as part of a total of 171 for seven.
Kent, who sit second in the South Group, had looked on course to complete a successful chase - especially thanks to the bat-carrying Rob Key, who hit an unbeaten 89 from 63 balls - but they were tripped up late on.
Two wickets in an over from Danny Briggs really put the brakes on and Key was left trying to finish the job with a middle order trying to get its eye in.
Much of the pre-match talk had centred around Glenn Maxwell, the Indian Premier League MVP, who was making his seasonal debut, but it was Carberry who led the home side's batting.
In-form skipper James Vince went in the second over, pulling Doug Bollinger to midwicket on five, before Jimmy Adams turned up the heat including a switch-hit six off Adam Riley.
The spinner would eventually trap Adams for 47 and that brought Maxwell to the middle but, after putting his third ball out of the ground, he holed out to James Tredwell for seven.
Carberry continued almost unnoticed and made 50 with a pull, with Owais Shah and Sean Ervine perishing around him.
His time would come, cleaned up by Bollinger after a 64-ball knock, before a couple of late blows from Chris Wood topped up the total.
Kent's response started well but Daniel Bell-Drummond went after five overs of it, finding the hands of Vince off Briggs' first ball for 12.
That brought Key and Sam Northeast together and the two went on to post an 89-run stand - although Key did survive when Vince put him down on 53.
Northeast livened up with a six and a four in successive balls before being caught at gully for 35.
That brought Darren Stevens to the middle, but after being dropped by Ervine in the deep with his first ball he failed to make the most of his life as Briggs cleaned him up, via a pad, with his second.
Billings also went in the same over and then Key thought he was out too, believing he was bowled off Wood. He came back, though, when he realised he had been incorrectly stumped.
He went on to finish 11 short of a hundred but more importantly short of the win.