FORMER Essex batsman Owais Shah hit an unbeaten half-century to lead Hampshire to a thumping eight-wicket win over his former side in their T20 Blast match at The Rose Bowl on Friday night.
Shah hit 50 to back up team-mate James Vince’s 57 not out as Hampshire convincingly won the battle of the South Division's top two with 16 balls to spare.
Having reduced Essex to 145 for five, the hosts recovered from the loss of Michael Carberry for a duck in the first over to post 146 for two.
Having been put in to bat, Essex lost opener Jesse Ryder for just one in the second over, Chris Wood with the wicket.
Tom Westley then fell for 17, but Mark Pettini's 29 from 23 balls and more importantly Ben Foakes' 43 from 34 helped get them motoring again.
Foakes, who hit four fours in his swift knock, put on 56 for the fourth wicket with James Foster (29 not out).
Ben Foakes batting for Essex
His stay at the crease was ended by Kyle Abbott, Jimmy Adams taking the catch.
Hampshire's reply got off to an inauspicious start as they lost Carberry four balls in, caught by Foakes off Matt Salisbury.
Salisbury also removed Adams, after he had smashed a quick-fire 32 off 19 balls, with four fours and a six, but it was the unbeaten 103-run partnership between Vince and Shah which took the match away from Kent.
Vince hit two maximums and four fours in his 47-ball knock, while Shah was even speedier, crashing three fours and as many sixes as he reached 50 from just 35 balls.
Reece Topley took most of the punishment, going for 30 from three overs, while Ryder went for 29 from three.