Yorkshire win Roses battle to quarter-finals
Leicestershire finished top of the group after an overwhelming 79-run win over Durham at Chester-le-Street. HD Ackerman led the way with a composed, unbeaten 87 balls and Durham, who had nothing to play for and put out a weakened side, were never in the hunt after falling to 21 for 5 and just batted out their overs.
Nottinghamshire also gained a home draw in the quarter-finals after powering past Derbyshire by nine wickets at Trent Bridge. Stephen Fleming and Samit Patel added 111 for the second wicket as the Derbyshire total was made to look fairly paltry. Michael di Venuto had top-scored for the visitors but in the end Nottinghamshire easily maintained their 100 percent home record.
After appearing one of the form sides early in the qualifying stages, Glamorgan failed to progress after a 13-run defeat against the already dethroned champions, Somerset, at Taunton. David Hemp gave them a chance with a 36-ball 74 but the chase fell away from 143 for 2 after 13 overs. Justin Langer had continued his prolific Twenty20 season with a 39-ball 78 as Somerset passed 200 but it was an all to rare consistent showing from their batsmen.
Northamptonshire's upturn in fortunes continued as they confirmed their place in the next stage with an eight-wicket win against Gloucestershire at Bristol. Rob White and David Sales did most of the blasting, hitting nine sixes between them as Northants eased home with 14 balls to spare. It would have been an even more comfortable victory had it not been for Mark Hardinges' unbeaten 94, which held a flimsy Gloucestershire effort together.
Warwickshire missed out the quarter-finals on run rate despite an impressive 11-run win against local rivals Worcestershire at Worcester. Alex Loudon was the star as he took 4 for 20 with some intelligent offspin, meaning that Vikram Solanki's 90 wasn't enough. Nick Knight and Jonathan Trott had formed the backbone of Warwickshire's innings but they were beaten to the final berth in the next round by Yorkshire from the North group.
Ronnie Irani played a true captain's innings to confirm Essex's place in the quarter-finals and earn them a home tie with a last-ball, four wicket win against Sussex who were edged out of the competition at Hove. Irani left it late, but timed his innings to perfection by pulling Yasir Arafat for four to win the match and bring up his century off 61 balls. Matt Prior hit Sussex's highest individual score in Twenty20 cricket, but his 73 proved in vein.
Both teams were winners at Canterbury as Surrey took the spoils on the night, gaining a quarter-final berth, while Kent also progressed as one of the best third placed teams. Surrey's batsmen were at their destructive best, especially James Benning and Ali Brown who added 112 in 9.5 overs for the first wicket. The middle order all exploded and Kent's chase was in a hopeless position after they lost their first four wickets for 43 inside five overs.
Middlesex gave their Twenty20 campaign some cheer with a nine-wicket win against Hampshire at Southgate but it wasn't a match to capture the imagination of the public. Hampshire's dismal batting effort produced just 111 in as Johann Louw grabbed a four-wicket haul, then Paul Weekes and Nick Compton knocked off most of the target.
Ties to be played Monday July 24
Essex v Yorkshire at Chelmsford
Leicestershire v Kent at Grace Road
Gloucestershire v Surrey at Bristol
Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge