Chapple takes Red Rose to last four
Glen Chapple starred with the ball to help Lancashire become the first team to secure a Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-final place courtesy of a narrow 16-run win over Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Chapple claimed fine figures of 5-26 from eight overs to help dismiss the hosts - chasing 183 to move joint second in Group A - for 164 in the 36th over.
The Red Rose were reliant on an unbeaten 36 from number nine Oliver Newby and Steven Croft’s 31 in making 182 for nine.
Ned Eckersley blasted an unbeaten 72 off just 44 balls to help Leicestershire overtake Worcestershire with a two-wicket triumph at New Road.
Moeen Ali and Vikram Solanki, with 30 and 41 respectively, put on 67 for the first wicket in 11.4 overs, but, after three scalps for Nathan Buck, Worcestershire could only manage 223 for nine.
A flurry of wickets overshadowed opener Josh Cobb’s 51 before Eckersley smashed seven sixes and two fours to dramatically see the Foxes home with an over to spare.
James Foster and Harbhajan Singh starred as Essex cruised past the Netherlands by 117 runs.
Tom Westley got the ball rolling with 59 and, amid useful contributions from Owais Shah and Graham Napier, Ryan ten Doeschate and Foster hit 52 and 79 respectively as the Eagles posted 314 for eight.
Michael Swart’s 50 gave the visitors hope of an unlikely victory, yet Harbhajan quickly erased those aspirations with 5-37 as Netherlands were dismissed for just 197.
Group B leaders Hampshire edged closer to the semi-finals with a four-wicket victory over third-placed Surrey at the Ageas Bowl.
Matthew Spriegel and Zander de Bruyn contributed 47 and 57 to a fifth-wicket stand of 94 to help Surrey recover from 38 for four and post 175 for nine.
Fit-again Michael Carberry contributed 54 on his return to action, sharing in a third-wicket partnership of 97 with Neil McKenzie, who made 38, before both departed to Murali Kartik.
Jade Dernbach claimed two further scalps for Surrey, but Sean Ervine and Michael Bates got the leaders over the line with 11 balls remaining.
Somerset boosted their semi-final hopes by moving up to second with a 53-run triumph over Scotland on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
Despite Preston Mommsen’s 67, Scotland were dismissed for 163 with 13 deliveries unused thanks to two wickets apiece from Steve Kirby, debutant Robert Mutch and Abdur Rehman.
Somerset lost Peter Trego early, but 56 from Arul Suppiah ensured his side were well above the required run-rate on 133 for three in the 23rd over when the rain moved in.
Mark Stoneman’s century proved in vain as Durham lost ground on high-flying Hampshire with a 43-run loss to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Michael Lumb set the tone for the innings with an explosive 51-ball 84, which contained 14 fours and two maximums, before Chris Read blasted 71 not out from 34 deliveries to lift Nottinghamshire to an imposing 294 for eight.
That proved too much for the visitors, who were dismissed for 251 despite opener Stoneman’s 102, with Andy Carter and Steven Mullaney returning 4-45 and 3-44 respectively.
Sussex retained their place at the summit of Group C as Amjad Khan’s late heroics sealed a last-ball three-wicket victory over Yorkshire at Headingley Carnegie.
After inclement weather ensured only 28 overs per side were possible, Andrew Gale top-scored with 43 and Joe Root managed two less in a White Rose score of 200 for eight.
Chris Nash hit 53 and Ed Joyce 54, but Azeem Rafiq’s three wickets looked to have proved decisive.
Amjad, however, had other ideas and, with 16 needed off the final over, started with a six and a four before finishing the job with a two from the last.
Opener Will Porterfield struck an unbeaten century as Warwickshire cruised to a 10-wicket victory over the Unicorns.
Chris Woakes continued his recent fine form by taking 4-24 to dismiss the Unicorns, for whom number 11 Paul Hindmarch top-scored with a 49-ball 50, for only 185.
That left the Bears with the simplest of chases and they duly completed a resounding victory as Porterfield and Varun Chopra finished on 100 and 73 respectively.
Brendan Nash and Geraint Jones kept their cool to keep Kent’s hopes of winning the group alive with a five-wicket win over Northamptonshire.
Alex Wakely scored 74 and Christian Davis 54 for Northants, but Matt Coles’ 3-45 meant they had to settle for 232 for nine.
The visitors looked to be struggling at 126 for five, only for Nash and Jones - who finished unbeaten on 70 and 52 respectively - to join forces in a 107-run stand.