Mason Crane and Liam Dawson spun Hampshire towards victory before James Vince took them over the winning line with a 54-ball 87.

Crane and Dawson ripped through Essex Eagles’ batting in the middle overs with figures of five for 55 from their combined eight overs.

The Eagles, having been 81-1, lost nine wickets for 52 runs in 47 balls.

Hampshire knocked off the 134 required inside 14 overs, with captain Vince raising his bat for his second fifty of the competition, to condemn Essex to a single win from their opening five fixtures.

Hampshire, who have now won two Vitality Blast matches on the bounce after ending their Somerset hoodoo last week had not won on this ground in any competition since 2014.

Vince won the toss, stuck Essex in, and was soon high-fiving Chris Wood and Liam Dawson after Cameron Delport edged the first ball of the match to first slip.

Adam Wheater and Tom Westley, who had been promoted to the top of the order then enjoyed a boundary-hitting contest.

Westley won the battle with the help of three huge sixes and as many fours to Wheater’s four inventive fours and one maximum in the pair’s 53-ball, 81-run stand.

But then Dawson (2-32) and Crane (3-24) entered the attack, dismissed Westley and Wheater in successive overs before working through the rest of the Eagles’ batting.

Crane suckered Ryan ten Doeschate into a hoof down the ground, Chris Morris snaffling at long-off, before Dan Lawrence was bowled next ball.

Shane Snater was run out by Wood attempting a foolhardy second run and then Simon Harmer chipped to Sam Northeast at short cover.

Overseas duo Adam Zampa and Mohammad Amir quickly followed as Essex lost eight wickets for 32 runs in a chaotic 40-ball collapse.

Paul Walter then thumped 26 off 13 balls to give the hosts some respectability but Matt Quinn was castled to leave him stranded – and the Eagles all out for 133.

Aneurin Donald (four) was out second ball before Vince and Rilee Rossouw comfortably ticked through the runs in a 78-run stand.

Vince, who opened his campaign with 50 against Kent, tonked one over long-on to accompany a series of gorgeous fours to reach his milestone in 34 balls.

Rossouw depart for 25 but Vince took his tally to three sixes and 12 fours.

He ended unbeaten on 87 as he and Sam Northeast eased Hampshire towards the line with a 50-run stand. The latter was bowled but Vince scored the winning runs two balls later.

Crane is delighted to be back in the wickets.

He said: “It was a great win. I had never won at Chelmsford before. The guys were saying when we were taking wickets that it was as good a chance as any.

“It felt like they were on for a big score with Wheater and Westley but we pulled it back well and finished it off.

“I got a bit of luck with one or two of the wickets but the ball was coming out the hand nicely and I feel like I am really in the competition now.

“We were relaxed because we are playing with a top international player in our team. 

“When he plays like that no one can stop him. Tonight, showed everyone just how good he is.

“We have three games in four days and this is where T20 really feels like a momentum game.”

"We will carry on this feel into the Glamorgan match tomorrow.”

Essex all-rounder Paul Walter said: "Once Vince got going it was going to be hard to contain them. That batting collapse from the middle and lower order has really cost us."

THE TURNING POINT: The end of the powerplay tends to mean Hampshire turn to spin twins Dawson and Crane, and their introduction was match-defining.

BALL OF THE MATCH: The way Crane duped Ryan ten Doeschate was leg-spin at its best. Two fired into the pads for two dots before floating one up.

UNSUNG HERO: World Cup winner James Vince made it two half-centuries in this season’s Vitality Blast.

There was a typically sumptuous cover drive in his smorgasbord shot selection, although it was the two sweetly-struck pings into the River Can that drew the most gasps.

WHAT’S NEXT? Both sides return to Vitality Blast action tonight. Essex Eagles travel to Gloucestershire, while Hampshire host Glamorgan at the Ageas Bowl. Both start at 7pm.

Essex Innings 

CS Delport c Dawson b Wood 0
T Westley b Dawson 44
AJA Wheater † c Fuller b Crane 39
RN ten Doeschate c Morris b Crane 3
DW Lawrence c McManus b Crane 12
PI Walter not out 26
S Snater run out (Wood) 2
SR Harmer (c) c Northeast b Dawson 0
A Zampa c Dawson b Wood 2
Mohammad Amir c N’east b Morris 1
MR Quinn b Abbott 1
Extras 3 (lb 1, w 2)
TOTAL 133 all out (16.4 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Delport, 0.1 ov), 2-81 (Westley, 8.5), 3-87 (Wheater, 9.4), 4-101 (Ten Doeschate, 11.3), 5-101 (Lawrence, 11.4), 6-105 (Snater, 12.4), 7-105 (Harmer, 12.6), 8-109 (Zampa, 14.2), 9-116 (Mohammad Amir, 15.2), 10-133 (Quinn, 16.4)
BOWLING: CP Wood 3-0-18-2, KJ Abbott 2.4-0-27-1, CH Morris 3-0-2-1, LA Dawson 4-0-31-2, MS Crane 4-0-24-3.

Hampshire innings
AHT Donald b Mohammad Amir 4
RR Rossouw c sub b Harmer 25
JM Vince (c) not out 87
SA Northeast b Harmer 13
LA Dawson not out 1
Extras 4 (lb 1, w 3)
TOTAL 134-3 (15.4 overs)
Yet to bat: JK Fuller, CH Morris, LD McManus †, CP Wood, KJ Abbott, MS Crane
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Aneurin Donald, 0.2 ov), 2-82 (Rilee Rossouw, 9.3 ov), 3-132 (Sam Northeast, 15.2 ov)
BOWLING: Mohammad Amir 3-0-16-1, MR Quinn 3-0-29-0, S Snater 1-0-12-0, A Zampa 4-0-40-0, SR Harmer 3.4-0-31-2, PI Walter 1-0-5-0.

Glamorgan arrive at the Ageas Bowl tonight still looking for their first win of the season after a tie at home to Gloucestershire tonight.