NOT for the first time, Danny Briggs returned to haunt his former teammates as the Sussex Sharks mauled Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl last night.

Briggs, who took 2-17 in last season’s corresponding match, finished with 3-29 this time as Hampshire were restricted to 158-7 – before Sussex raced to an eight-wicket victory with ten balls to spare.

Sussex captain Luke Wright, who won the toss, led from the front with a 53-ball 68 and shared a second-wicket stand of 96 from 11.2 overs with Laurie Evans, who continued his excellent start to the competition with an unbeaten 55 (33 balls) as the visitors reached their target with ten balls to spare.

As well as being Sussex’s third successive win in this year’s Vitality Blast, this was also their third successive T20 victory at The Ageas Bowl, where they have not lost in the shortest format since 2014.

Briggs was at the heart of it. In tandem with Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan he bowled Sussex back into the game before IPL stars Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan ensured Hampshire were restricted to a below-par total .

Opening the T20 batting for the first time since last season’s group stage, James Vince hit three successive fours against Archer as Hampshire accelerated to 44-0 after four overs.

New Zealand left-hander Colin Munro drove six over long-off against Ollie Robinson as Hampshire reached 59-1 at the end of the powerplay.

And Sam Northeast plundered Wiese for three successive fours to take Hampshire to a healthy 86-1 at halfway.

But the Sussex twirlymen came into their own in the second half of the innings, with Briggs striking twice in four balls in the 11th over, his second.

Northeast lofted Briggs to long-off for 23 but and it was a case of six and out for Rilee Rossouw who, after lofting the former Hampshire slow left-armer over long off, hit the next ball straight to deep mid-wicket.

Briggs had his third wicket when Munro, attempting to loft another six, was caught on the boundary in between two tidy overs from Rashid Khan.

Briggs figures were slightly spoilt by conceding ten from two balls against Tom Alsop, who followed a sumptuous straight six with a reverse sweep for four.

Dawson soon followed, a deserved wicket for Rashid. The Afghan’s last ball was swung over mid-wicket for six by Berg, who was yorked by Archer as Hampshire failed to get the total needed to atone for last week’s hammering at home to Glamorgan.

Berg picked up the only wickets to fall with Phil Salt bowled swinging across the line before Sussex reached 55-1 at the end of the powerplay.

Mujeeb was the pick of Hampshire’s bowlers and should have had a wicket soon after Sussex reached 83-1 at halfway.

Wright, having survived a run out in the previous over, was on 40 when he appeared to be bowled by the Afghan teenager. But umpires Steve O’Shaughnessy and Michael Gough could not be sure that Lewis McManus had not knocked off the bails with his gloves.

Other than that there was no answer to Wright and Evans who hit the winning runs with successive boundaries against the out-of-sorts Abbott after the pair had hit three maximums in five balls.

Hampshire  head coach Craig White is hoping his side can bounce back against Kent at Beckenham tonight.

He said: “We had a very good powerplay and then lost our way and were about 20 runs too short.

“It would have been nice for one of the top four to be 70 or 80 not out and build momentum but it wasn’t enough. Sussex are a very good unit and out played us in all three disciplines.

“There were a couple of half chances here and there and batsmen getting given not out when they were out, things just didn’t quite go for us.

“We now have to put in a good performance at Kent - you can easily turn it around in this format. A couple of wins and you are away.”

Kent suffered their first defeat in the competition on Wednesday, by five runs against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Sussex innings
C Munro c Salt b Briggs 30
JM Vince (c) c Bruce b Archer 30
SA Northeast c Archer b Briggs 23
RR Rossouw c Bruce b Briggs 6
TP Alsop not out 35
LA Dawson lbw b Rashid Khan 8
GK Berg b Archer 9
LD McManus † c Wiese b Archer 7
KJ Abbott not out 0
Extras 10 (b 1, lb 2, w 7)
TOTAL 158/7 (20 Overs, RR: 7.90)
Yet to bat: CP Wood, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Fall of wickets: 1-45 (JM Vince, 4.1 ov), 2-86 (SA Northeast, 10.1 ov), 3-93 (RR Rossouw, 10.4 ov), 4-100 (C Munro, 12.3 ov), 5-122 (LA Dawson, 15.3 ov), 6-142 (GK Berg, 17.6 ov), 7-157 (LD McManus, 19.5 ov)
BOWLING: OE Robinson 3-0-24-0, JC Archer 4-0-26-3, D Wiese    2-0-30-0, CJ Jordan 3-0-21-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-25-1, DR Briggs 4-0-29-3

Sussex innings 
PD Salt b Berg 20
LJ Wright (c) c Wood b Berg 68
LJ Evans not out 55
TC Bruce not out 3
Extras 15 (w 15)
TOTAL 161-2 (18.2 overs)
Yet to bat: MGK Burgess †, D Wiese, JC Archer, CJ Jordan, Rashid Khan, OE Robinson, DR Briggs
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (PD Salt, 4.5 ov), 2-140 (LJ Wright, 16.1 ov)
BOWLING: CP Wood 3-0-24-0, GK Berg 4-0-33-2, KJ Abbott 3.2-0-41-0, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 4-0-26-0, LA Dawson 4-0-37-0