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McKenzie holds nerve to shoot down Sussex

Neil McKenzie hit a brilliant 71 not out from 50 balls to sweep Friends Life t20 holders Hampshire Royals a thrilling final-over win by five wickets against Sussex Sharks.

The South Group's south coast derby clash looked to be going the hosts' way when Hampshire reached the final over still needing 12 to win on a tricky pitch in reply to 145 for six.

But McKenzie, aided by a big slice of good fortune, got Hampshire home with three balls to spare as he flicked Chris Jordan's first ball for four to wide long-leg, gained six runs from the second with the aid of four overthrows and crashed Jordan's next ball - a low full-toss - through extra cover for his eighth four.

Hampshire remain unbeaten in this year's competition, with two wins and a no-result from their first three games, but this was a third defeat in four matches for Sussex.

McKenzie ultimately settled the game by dominating an unbroken 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Adam Wheater after Michael Carberry gave Hampshire a flying start with a superb 50 from 31 balls, which included three sixes and four fours.

When Carberry was caught at point in the 10th over, making room to slash Chris Nash's off-spin square, Sussex's slow bowlers - like Hampshire's earlier in the evening - began to take a grip on the game.

Leg-spinner Will Beer, who had Sean Ervine caught at long-off for seven, bowled four overs for just 15 runs while Nash and Michael Yardy also helped to build pressure.

Nash had Liam Dawson lbw second ball for nought in the 14th over but veteran former South Africa international McKenzie was equal to the situation.

Earlier, Sussex chose to bat first and were given a rapid start by Nash and Luke Wright as 45 runs came from the first four overs.

Yet both openers perished inside the initial six-over powerplay - Wright, after hitting two sixes, was bowled by Chris Wood for 17 and Nash chipped a return catch back to Danny Briggs on 23.

Big hitters Rory Hamilton-Brown and Dwayne Smith fell cheaply, while Scott Styris had to bide his time before accelerating to an unbeaten 39 from 32 balls.

Briggs took 1-19 from four overs and, although both Dimitri Mascarenhas and Sohail Tanvir were expensive - their combined eight overs costing 82, Hampshire were more than happy at halfway to have held Sussex to below 150.

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