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State of Play
Last night was the catch-up games for all the teams who had played only seven times and there were some significant results. Most notably Yorkshire who booked their place in the quarter-finals - the second team, along with Sussex, to do so - by inflicting the first defeat of the tournament on Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Yorkshire might still have to win both their final matches to win the group though because Notts still have a superior net run-rate and are only one win behind the White Rose.
There has been an early abandonment at Derbyshire where Notts were supposed to be playing tonight so that point means Lancashire can only finish third. They need to win both final matches and hope Durham lose one of their final two games. Durham's match tonight at Leicester has also been abandoned so Notts are definitely through with Yorkshire. Durham need to win their last match and hope Lancashire do not win both of theirs - Lancashire's net run-rate is higher at the moment.
Two results in the south group kept it interesting. Kent won a low-scoring thriller on a turner at The Oval and Essex beat Middlesex to keep both teams in the hunt. They both need Hampshire to lose their last two matches and both need to win both their remaining games - Kent also need to improve their net run-rate to better Hampshire's.
In the Midlands/West group Ed Cowan made a sparkling introduction for his new county Gloucestershire, with 70 from 49-balls as they powered home chasing 160 to beat Worcestershire at Bristol. The result means Gloucestershire are now one point behind Worcestershire, Somerset and Warwickshire who are all tied on 10 points. All to play for there.
Flt20 Wildcard table
Two games to go and this is the race to finish as best third-place. The top two in this table will also qualify for the quarter-finals but they have to come from different groups. A such, at the moment Warwickshire and Essex would go through.
Team –- Pld –- Pts –- Net run-rate 1. Warks (M) -- 8 --- 10 --- +0.174 2. Gloucs (M) -- 8 --- 9 --- +0.033 3. Essex (S) --- 8 --- 8 --- -0.182 4. Durham (N) - 8 --- 8 --- -0.284 5. Lancs (N) --- 8 --- 7 --- +0.136 6. Kent (S) ----- 8 --- 7 --- -0.488 7. Glam (M) --- 8 --- 6 --- -1.147
(M) Midlands/West group; (S) South group; (N) North group Full tables
Yorkshire's Bairstow blues
Yorkshire's advance to the quarter-finals of the FLt20 has come about despite the absence of Andrew Gale and Ryan Sidebottom through injury and a modest return from the batsman they would normally count on for at least one explosive contribution, giving rise to the thought that the distractions of a burgeoning international career might be having consequences.
Jonny Bairstow's run in the competition so far - in between England duties - amounts to scores of 17, 2, 5 and 1, the latest brief appearance ending with a second-ball stumping against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge last night.
Bucking the trend
Audiences might be on the wane as Twenty20 bears the brunt of the appalling weather and competes for attention in a congested sporting calendar but Nottinghamshire are bucking the trend.
More than 8,000 spectators turned up for last night's top of the table clash with Yorkshire, following crowds of almost 8,000 for the home match against Durham and 7,000 for the rain-lashed encounter with Lancashire. Estimates for their opening match against Derbyshire - washed out completely - were in the region of 8,500 and a similar figure, perhaps higher, is expected for the visit of Leicestershire in the final group game on Sunday.
"Gates were up 20 per cent in 2010 and 19 per cent on top of that last year," a spokesman said. "If we can get a home quarter-final, we'd be looking at 12,000."
Trending: Zafar Ansari
Having now finished his degree at Cambridge University, Ansari can concentrate on a full-time cricket career. He's got the tools to be successful too. A good left-arm orthodox action, he turns the ball - picking up two key wickets in last night's win over Surrey. He can also bat and has made a number of useful lower-order contributions and has a first-class half-century to his name. He nearly steered Surrey back into their chase last night with a well-made 25.
Leicestershire v Durham, Grace Road - Abandoned Worcestershire v Northamptonshire, New Road, 17.30 Glamorgan v Somerset, Cardiff, 18.00 Surrey v Middlesex, The Oval, 18.30 Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire, Derby - Abandoned Hampshire v Sussex, West End, 19.00 Kent v Essex, Canterbury, 19.00 Warwickshire v Gloucestershire, Edgbaston, 19.00 Lancashire v Yorkshire, Old Trafford, 19.00
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