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Outlaws look to take semi spot at second attempt

Notts Outlaws will once again look to seal a semi-final berth when they travel to Sussex Sharks in the Yorkshire Bank 40 on Thursday.

The Group A leaders could have taken an unassailable advantage on Tuesday, only for Worcestershire Royals to leave Trent Bridge with the points on a damp evening.

They now face a resurgent Sussex side looking to keep their own faint qualification hopes alive on the back of a Luke Wright-inspired nine-wicket rout of the Netherlands.

But Notts seamer Harry Gurney is confident Sussex will be on the receiving end of a reaction to the Worcestershire defeat, pointing to their assured six-wicket triumph over Northants Steelbacks last weekend on the back of Friends Life t20 heartache at the hands of Essex Eagles.

“We’ll have to be at our best,” said Gurney on his county’s official website. 

“Sussex will need to win all of their remaining games to have any chance of qualifying but if you look at the strong sides they’ve been putting out, they certainly won't be a team to take lightly.

“We showed that we could bounce back after Thursday’s massive disappointment, it hurt us all, but we’ll be looking to do it again down at Hove this time around.”

Victory for Northants over the Netherlands will guarantee them second place if Kent Spitfires lose to Warwickshire Bears in the group’s other game, while Sussex must hope Northants fail to triumph if success at the County Ground is to count for anything but pride.

Despite their lofty position, Northants are to rest all-rounder David Willey with one eye on Friends Life t20 finals day.

Group B leaders Hampshire Royals will look to solidify their position two days after brushing aside Scottish Saltires when Surrey visit the Ageas Bowl.

The hosts welcome back influential all-rounder Sean Ervine after he was rested for the trip to Glasgow, while Alec Stewart may shuffle Surrey’s pack as both teams look to gain a possible psychological edge ahead of their t20 semi-final at Edgbaston.

In-form Lancashire Lightning travel north to face Scottish Saltires, fresh from beating Derbyshire Falcons on Tuesday night and will hope their most recent victims can do them a favour against Durham Dynamos.

A Red Rose win combined with a defeat for the unchanged Dynamos would lift Glen Chapple’s side up to second place.

The battle for qualification from Group C is set to go to the wire after Glamorgan’s rain-affected win over Middlesex Panthers this evening moved them level with Somerset and Gloucestershire Gladiators at the summit on 13 points.

Somerset welcome back James Hildreth and fit-again seamer Alfonso Thomas for the visit of Yorkshire Vikings, while Gloucestershire Gladiators travel to Middlesex Panthers, who are only two points worse off and unchanged from their Cardiff reverse.

Gladiators captain Michael Klinger is enjoying a rich vein of form at the top of the order, following last weekend’s unbeaten century against Somerset with 89 not out as Leicestershire Foxes were brushed aside in midweek.

Unsurprisingly, the Australian is in confident mood and told Gloucestershire’s official website: “I’m not really thinking about finishing second. I think we’ll just finish top and leave the others to worry about second place.

“Every game is tough and we still have to play Middlesex, Glamorgan and Somerset, who can all qualify themselves.”

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