FLt20 quarter-finalists decided
Somerset, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Essex today joined Sussex, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals.
The quarter-final line-up is Nottinghamshire v Hampshire, Somerset v Essex, Sussex v Gloucestershire and Yorkshire v Worcestershire.
Somerset topped the Midlands/Wales/West Group, beating this morning’s leaders Worcestershire by three wickets at New Road.
Albie Morkel’s 3-30 helped to limit the Royals to 119 for seven, a total built on Phil Hughes’ unbeaten 45. Somerset slipped to 61 for three, but Nick Compton and James Hildreth completed victory with seven balls to spare courtesy of 42 and 35 respectively.
However, Worcestershire progressed as one of the two third-placed sides thanks to the Welsh Dragons defeating Warwickshire, who were level on points with Somerset and Worcestershire going into the final round of games, by 22 runs on Duckworth/Lewis at Edgbaston.
Shaun Marsh’s 68 from 48 balls at the top of the order propelled the Dragons to 173 for five and, in reply, the Bears were 61 for four from nine overs when rain ended proceedings.
Gloucestershire - one point behind the top three this morning - overcame Northamptonshire by eight wickets on D/L at Wantage Road to come second in the group.
Two wickets for Ian Saxelby helped reduce the Steelbacks to 13 for four, but the players were soon forced off. When they returned Muttiah Muralitharan had Rob Newton caught and bowled, yet the rain returned at 31 for four in the ninth over.
Play resumed with the Gladiators needing 23 from five overs, a target they reached with 16 balls remaining.
In the South Group Essex joined pool winners Sussex and Hampshire in the last eight thanks to a washout with the latter at the Ageas Bowl, which meant the Eagles were among two of the three best third-placed teams.
Surrey gained a morale-boosting win over group winners Sussex by seven wickets on D/L at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Play was delayed and then interrupted with the Sharks flying at 104 without loss after nine overs when Luke Wright had 54 and Chris Nash 41. That left the Lions needing 62 in five overs and Kevin Pietersen’s unbeaten 36 ensured they did that with two deliveries to go.
Kent ended their FLt20 campaign on a high with a three-wicket defeat of Middlesex at Uxbridge.
The Panthers could only post 124 for nine, Neil Dexter making 42, as Darren Stevens returned 3-23. Azhar Mahmood top-scored with 30 in the chase as the Spitfires got home with an over to spare.
A terrific last over from Ajmal Shahzad salvaged a tie for Lancashire from their North Group clash against Durham, which was not enough for either side to advance to the last eight as one of the two best third-placed teams.
The Dynamos limited the Lightning to just 133 for eight as Chris Rushworth, Gareth Breese and Scott Borthwick claimed two wickets apiece.
Phil Mustard and Ben Stokes struck 33 and 26 respectively but, with just six required from the final over and five wickets in hand, Shahzad dismissed Dale Benkenstein for 28 before Breese was run out on the final delivery.
An opening stand of 131 between Adam Lyth and Phil Jaques set Yorkshire on their way to a 21-run victory over Derbyshire at Headingley Carnegie and a home quarter-final.
Lyth struck 78 off 51 balls and Jaques made 64 from 47 deliveries as the White Rose posted a commanding 180 for five.
Yorkshire seemed to be cruising to another win after reducing the Falcons to 99 for six, but an inspired seventh-wicket stand of 55 in four overs between Garry Park and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan threatened to end the hosts' hopes of topping the group.
However, Moin Ashraf and Mitchell Starc returned 3-24 and 2-27 as Derbyshire finished on 159 for nine, leaving Rana unbeaten on 40.
Yorkshire's win left Nottinghamshire having to settle for second place despite a convincing 69-run triumph over defending champions Leicestershire at Trent Bridge that at least ensured them a home quarter-final.
Michael Lumb set the tone with a brutal 26-ball 62, sharing an opening stand of 94 with former Fox James Taylor, who clubbed three maximums in his 45 as the Outlaws posted 196 for three.
That proved too much for Leicestershire as Andy Carter restricted them to 127 for nine with 3-12 off four overs, Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq making 69 off 50 balls.