A magnificent century from James Vince carried defending champions Hampshire to a crushing nine-wicket victory over Essex in the opening match of the 2013 Yorkshire Bank 40 at Chelmsford.
Vince smashed an unbeaten 129 from 93 deliveries and shared in an opening partnership of 156 in only 17 overs with Michael Carberry (65) as the visitors surpassed the home side's score of 244-7 with 10.2 overs to spare.
Their blitz on the Essex bowlers saw them raise the 100 in a mere 9.2 overs with Reece Topley (0-61) and Sajid Mahmood (0-46) suffering most.
Mahmood, making his first appearance for the county following his move from Lancashire, conceded 34 runs in his first two overs while Topley went for 26.
Vince needed just 27 deliveries to record his half-century and a further 44 to move into three figures with the help of 15 fours and a six.
By then, he had lost Carberry for 65 made off 51 balls and containing eight fours and a six. He departed when giving a return catch to Graham Napier but that proved Essex's solitary success as Jimmy Adams, with an unbeaten 29, helped Vince to see the Royals home.
In all, Vince hit 17 fours and a six and was just two runs short of equalling his competition best. Hampshire's triumph came after a late surge from Napier and Greg Smith had led Essex to what appeared a challenging total.
They added 93 in 51 deliveries for the sixth wicket after coming together in the 31st over with the total on 143. Napier, fresh from his heroics in the Championship victory two days earlier when he scored an unbeaten 78, made 50 from 29 balls before he was caught on the boundary from the last ball of the innings.
Napier's effort contained two sixes and five fours while Smith made 43, which included a six and six fours from 33 deliveries until he was bowled by Chris Wood.
Earlier Australian left-hander Bobby Quiney struck a fluent 71 from 87 balls with the help of six fours and a six. His effort ended when he was bowled by Hamza Riazuddin after sharing in half-century stands with fellow opener Tom Westley (34) and Mark Pettini.
But there was no joy for Ravi Bopara who had hoped to celebrate his inclusion in England's Champions Trophy squad in style. He was bowled attempting to attack left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, a dismissal that completed a miserable week for him with the bat.
In the Championship match against Hampshire, he failed to reach double figures in either innings and in eight trips to the middle this season, he has only once topped fifty.