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FLt20 groups set for exciting climax

Somerset CCC

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The Friends Life t20 group stage comes to an end tomorrow, with four quarter-finals places still up for grabs.

A particularly thrilling finale is on the cards in the Midlands/Wales/West Group, where Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset all retain hopes of qualification.

The former and latter go head-to-head at New Road, with the winners guaranteed to advance into the last eight, potentially as group winners.

That will be determined by Warwickshire's result against the Welsh Dragons and the outcome of the match between bottom-placed Northamptonshire, who are set to hand Ben Duckett his debut, and Gloucestershire, one point below the top three at present.

Gareth Cross & Alex Hales

Opening batsman Alex Hales returns from injury as Nottinghamshire look to better Yorkshire's result and top the FLt20 North Group

Victory for Warwickshire will see them qualify, while Gloucestershire must pick up the two points on offer at Wantage Road and hope the Dragons do them a favour at Edgbaston.

Three teams are likely to progress from the Midlands/Wales/West Group, with places in the last eight on offer to the two best third-placed sides in the competition.

Unchanged Durham and Lancashire, who sit third and fourth in the North Group on nine and eight points respectively, both head into their encounter at the Emirates Durham ICG knowing a win could see them squeeze into the quarter-finals.

Mitchell Starc plays his final game before linking up with Australia A as leaders Yorkshire aim to beat Derbyshire at Headingley Carnegie to secure a home tie in the last eight.

If the White Rose fail to triumph, Nottinghamshire, boosted by the return of fit-again opener Alex Hales, could pip them to top spot by beating defending champions Leicestershire, who could hand a debut to young spinner James Sykes.

Essex can book their place in the quarter-finals as a best third-placed side with victory over South Group rivals Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

James Foster's side currently sit two points behind Hampshire and need the full allocation of points to ensure they have more than the sides finishing third in the other two groups.

Kent, whose qualification hopes were dashed with defeat to the Eagles on Friday, travel to Lord's to face an unchanged Middlesex, while Surrey, who are to replace the rested Stuart Meaker with Chris Jordan, aim to end a run of seven straight defeats when they travel to face group winners Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground.

Want to know what's happening at your county? Interested in how your rivals are faring? Look no further than ecb.co.uk's county-by-county page

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