Dimitri Mascarenhas picked up three wickets on his t20 return to help the Hampshire Royals restrict the Somerset Sabres to a total of 145-7 despite a fine half century from Peter Trego at the Rose Bowl.
The Royals got off to a great start thanks to Mascarenhas, who picked up three early wickets in his first t20 game back after more then a year out with an Archilles injury to leave the Sabres 37-3 after just 5.1 overs.
The 33 year old tore through the Sabres top order after Marcus Trescothick won the toss and elected to bat first.
The skipper was the first to go thanks to Neil McKenzie who pulled off a great diving catch in the slips to end Trescothick's (2) involvement in the game having faced just 6 deliveries.
Roelof van der Merwe (15) quickly followed when he was bowled at the end of the 4th over before Mascarenhas completed his amazing start by dismissing James Hildreth (2) who was caught by wicket keeper Nic Pothas.
Despite the early setback for the Sabres, Trego (55) remained at the crease and the opener blasted a vital half century from just 30 deliveries during a 4th wicket stand of 63 with Nick Compton to lead the visitors recover.
The 29 year old scored four boundaries and three sixes during 37 ball innings which was brought to an end by James Vince who pulled out a brilliant diving catch out on the long on boundary to give Royals skipper Dominic Cork the vital break through at the end of the 14the over to leave the Sabres 100-4.
Jos Buttler (13) quickly followed before Compton's (37) cameo was brought to an end by Cork in the penultimate over thanks to another great diving catch by Vince, this time at deep fine leg to leave the Sabres 136-6.
Lewis Gregory added just 2 runs before Arul Suppiah (7) and Murali Kartik (1) saw out the final two deliveries of the match to help the Sabres reach a below par total of 145-7 to leave the Royals well placed to start their title defence with a victory.