JAMES Fuller, Benny Howell and Liam Dawson’s late sixes gave Hampshire Hawks a stunning comeback victory over Kent Spitfires to get their T20 Blast campaign going.

The Hawks required 42 off the last three overs but three maximums in a row from Fuller turned the game before Howell and Dawson smashed over the ropes to win by three wickets.

All-rounder Joey Evison picked up three for 31 – his second-best T20 figures – to put Kent in control before the late efforts handed Hampshire their first T20 win of the season.

Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Billings' 40s were the foundations for the Spitfires 165 for nine but it didn’t quite prove enough.

Chasing 166 to win, Ben McDermott and James Vince were circumspect, with barely a shot in anger during a 42-run powerplay, as timing became a struggle.

McDermott attempted to accelerate things but while his pulled six worked, his hoick two balls later only picked out the deep midwicket positioned Crawley.

Nick Gubbins was drafted in to replace Ali Orr – who broke his arm while batting against Surrey – but his second T20 appearance for Hampshire ended identically as his first - with a duck.

Vince tried a slog out of desperation to end his stodgy 35 off 32 before Friday night hat-trick taker Matt Parkinson joined the party when Toby Albert reversed to point.

Joe Weatherley and Fuller continued to tick under the rate until the 18th over, as the game looked lost.

But with 42 still required, and Beyers Swanepoel bowling, Fuller bludgeoned to long on, straight then straight again for three sixes in a row - bringing up a fifty stand with Weatherley.

Even though the South African found an edge the following ball the momentum had swung with 18 needed off the final two overs.

Weatherley fell for 49 when he picked out long on but a Benny Howell six off the final ball of the penultimate over moved the dial to the hosts again.

With nine now needed, Grant Stewart had Howell caught but was smashed over the ropes by Dawson, before a scampered single gave Hawks an unlikely victory.

Earlier, Kent chose to bat and piled on the runs in the powerplay under blue skies. Chris Wood – in his testimonial year – was the only one to stem the early runs.

Bell-Drummond blitzed 42 off 27 balls with hardly anything avoiding the middle of his bat – with the four overs not bowled by Wood in the powerplay going for 52.

Things swung when Fuller had Bell-Drummond caught after a six-second hang time – to end a 59-run opening stand – and bowled Tawanda Muyeye.

Fuller would have to wait another five overs for his hat-trick ball, which was keenly dealt with by Joe Denly, although Howell spread Zak Crawley’s stumps.

Sam Billings and Denly both fell in a Dawson over and from then, the Hawks cramped the Spitfires with 31 runs coming off the final four overs, which all saw a wicket fall.