Sabres and Bears secure home ties
Somerset Sabres and Warwickshire Bears booked home Friends Provident t20 quarter-final ties with wins in their penultimate games of the group stage.
In the South Group the Sabres coasted to a six-wicket win against rock-bottom Gloucestershire Gladiators after Peter Trego struck 46 from 17 balls to reel in the hosts’ 152 for nine with 3.1 over to go.
Kieron Pollard completed the task with a couple of towering sixes to finish unbeaten on 30, from 12 balls, and follow his match-best figures of 3-36.
In the North Group Warwickshire were made to sweat a little more for their win as they beat local rivals Worcestershire Royals by nine runs in a match reduced to 15 overs a side because of rain.
England batsman Jonathan Trott batted through the Bears' innings to post an unbeaten 53 out of 112 for four - a target the visitors never truly threatened after opening duo Vikram Solanki and Sanath Jayasuriya fell for first-ball ducks.
Back in the South Group Essex Eagles took an important step towards booking a home last-eight tie as they beat reigning champions Sussex Sharks by five wickets with four balls to spare.
An unbeaten 76 from Michael Yardy helped the Sharks post a competitive 185 for four batting first, but Alastair Cook hit his second half-century in as many games before Scott Styris also passed 50 to lead the Eagles home in the final over.
Middlesex Panthers moved level with Hampshire Royals in the race for the last remaining quarter-final place in the South Group after beating them by eight wickets at the Rose Bowl.
Hampshire were skittled for 99, with Tom Smith capturing 3-26, before David Warner’s tournament-best 43 helped his side home with 5.4 overs remaining.
Glamorgan Dragons' slim last-eight hopes were almost certainly ended with a 14-run defeat to Kent Spitfires under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Northamptonshire Steelbacks jumped above Derbyshire Falcons and into fourth place in the North Group with a 43-run win at Derby.
Zimbabwe all-rounder Elton Chigumbura took 4-14 as Derbyshire were bowled out for 116 in pursuit of 159 for four.
Leicestershire Foxes and Durham Dynamos also saw their hopes of reaching the knockout stages washed away as they shared the points when their Grace Road encounter was rained off without a ball being bowled.