Wright and Prior take Sussex to last four
England duo Luke Wright and Matt Prior starred as Sussex sealed a place in the Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-finals by virtue of a nine-wicket Group C victory over Kent.
Brendan Nash finished unbeaten on 51 and Geraint Jones 37 as the home side, having won the toss, posted what looked a competitive total of 210 for five on a green Canterbury surface.
Yet it ended in disappointment for the Spitfires, who could have reached the last four with victory, as Wright and Prior joined forces following Chris Nash’s departure for 20.
The former struck an outstanding unbeaten 102 and the latter 78 not out in a 152-run partnership as Sussex emerged victorious with 10 overs to spare.
That success paved the way for Warwickshire to secure qualification through a comfortable win against Yorkshire at Scarborough.
Tim Ambrose hit an impressive 64-ball 87 not out, while Will Porterfield and Darren Maddy chipped in with 43 and 44 respectively as Warwickshire posted 211 for six in an encounter reduced to 29 overs per side due to rain.
Set 214 following Duckworth/Lewis calculations, the White Rose never came close and were dismissed for 158 as Neil Carter claimed 4-16.
The other Group C contest was a no result between hosts Derbyshire and Northamptonshire with only the visitors’ innings possible.
Fifties from Kyle Coetzer and David Sales aided a total of 232 for eight with Peter Burgoyne taking 3-31.
Hampshire earned an away semi against Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground when Somerset versus Surrey was declared a no result at 5:30pm.
Only 4.3 overs were possible at Taunton as Surrey reached 29 for one having lost the toss, before rain intervened.
Hampshire's game went the same way soon after. They had started against hosts Durham at 4:45pm and, having been put in, reached 51 for one from six overs with James Vince unbeaten on 37 from 22 balls.
The other Group B game, between Nottinghamshire and the Welsh Dragons at Trent Bridge, was also a no result.
A 114-run opening stand between Alex Hales and Neil Edwards, who hit 94 and 58 respectively, aided Notts' 264 for six. The Dragons were set a revised 257 to win from 38 overs, but could reach only 20 without loss from 5.3.
Group A winners Lancashire, who had already secured a home semi, racked up 324 for four in a 37-over innings versus Worcestershire at New Road, but rain then intervened terminally.
Tom Smith raced to a 44-ball century before being bowled for 106 by Jack Shantry. Smith dominated an opening alliance of 150 with Stephen Moore, who reached 113 in adding 142 with Steven Croft.
The Red Rose will face Warwickshire at Old Trafford in the next phase.
Dawid Malan’s hundred from the top of the order and Gareth Berg’s fifty aided Middlesex’s 54-run D/L defeat of Essex at Lord’s.
England all-rounder Ravi Bopara, allowed to play today by the ECB, had Berg caught behind for 61 en route to 3-55 but Malan went on to 134 from 108 deliveries.
Essex were set a revised target of 253 from 35.1 overs and, although opener Tom Westley hit 68 and Owais Shah 53, they came up well short as Gurjit Sandhu returned 3-28.
Liam Norwell’s List A best 6-52 could not give Gloucestershire victory over Leicestershire as rain intervened at Grace Road.
Despite Norwell’s wickets, half-centuries for Shiv Thakor and Matthew Boyce followed fine top-order contributions, including a 26-ball 42 from Josh Cobb, helping Leicestershire to 264 all out in 38 overs. Chasing 265 in 40 overs, Gloucestershire reached 19 for one from four.