Even an unbeaten century from Murray Goodwin could not save Sussex Sharks from defeat in their Twenty20 Cup clash against Essex Eagles at Chelmsford.
Goodwin batted throughout the innings to lead Sussex to 165 for five, only to see Essex coast home with six wickets and 17 deliveries to spare.
Consistent performances from the top order saw the home side to their target, all the batsmen scoring at least 20, but it was Goodwin who provided the innings that will linger in the memory. He adopted a cautious approach at first as Andy Bichel picked up two wickets in his second over, and it was not until the eighth over that he collected his first boundary.
Goodwin accelerated to reach his half-century from 46 balls before switching into overdrive to launch a thrilling display of strokes.
He needed only a further 17 balls to move into three figures, and his century was the first recorded by a Sussex player in the competition. In all he smashed nine fours and five sixes.
He finished on 102 and shared in a partnership of 80 in seven overs with Carl Hopkinson, whose contribution was a mere 17.
While Graham Napier was the most economical Essex bowler while taking one for 23 in his four overs, Bichel was the most successful with two for 37.
Former Surrey captain Adam Hollioake, making his Essex debut after being signed up for just the Twenty20 competition, conceded 21 in two overs before being drawn from the attack after being punished by Goodwin for three successive fours.
Mark Pettini and Grant Flower provided the perfect launching pad when Essex replied, putting together an opening stand of 60 in six overs.
That ended when Pettini was bowled by Luke Wright for 22 and after his dismissal Flower, Bichel and Tim Phillips all got into the 30s before they were dismissed.
That left Ryan ten Doeschate and James Foster, with 20 and 21 respectively, to see Essex to the winning post. They reached it in the grand manner with ten Doeschate launching Ollie Rayner for a massive six over long-on.