Resurgent Middlesex into last eight
Middlesex, who a month ago could not buy a win, secured their quarter-final berth with a six-wicket victory over bottom side Sussex at Hove. Steve Finn ripped through the Sussex middle order with three wickets in two overs, although they did recover to 151 for 7. Billy Godleman's 69 anchored a perfectly-paced chase as Middlesex eased home with an over to spare.
Hampshire and Essex tied at Southampton, a result which leaves them level in second, one point ahead of fourth-placed Kent. Essex needed three off the last ball but Danish Kaneira could only get two, which means the two teams will meet again on Friday to decide who makes it to the quarter-finals. Michael Carberry hit 51 off 42 balls and added 79 with Michael Brown to take Hampshire to 164. Jason Gallian directed Essex's chase with an attacking 55 and was run out when his side needed 65 more to win. Essex faced a mini-collapse as James Foster fell in the same over, caught for 12 off Nantie Hayward, who conceded only 21 runs in his four overs. The match got exciting when Essex needed 18 off the last two overs and Chris Tremlett conceded only seven, while picking up two wickets, so that 11 runs were required off the final over. But Kaneira and David Masters held their nerve and managed to keep their side alive in the tournament.
Surrey recorded only their second win to deal a major blow to Kent's quarter-final ambitions in a close game at Canterbury. Surrey were given a good start by Ally Brown and Scott Newman before they wobbled to 91 for 4. Abdul Razzaq and Jonathan Batty added 53 in seven overs before Batty (26) was caught of a leading edge and then in the penultimate over Razzaq was caught by Robert Key. Kent were in deep trouble at 55 for 5, but Azhar Mahmood thumped 55 from 31 balls in a seventh-wicket stand of 68 off 36 balls with Yasir Arafat. They still needed 14 from the final over, and from the first ball Mahmood was caught in the deep. Seven were needed off two deliveries but Ryan McLaren was caught at deep midwicket to end their hopes.
Worcestershire finished any hopes Gloucestershire might have had of reaching the last eight with an easy 59-run win at Worcester. Daryl Mitchell was the star with 4 for 11 in a low-scoring game as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 93 in reply to 152 for 8. Mark Hardinges had earlier taken 4 for 30. Stephen Moore top scored for Worcestshire with 41, while no Gloucestershire batsman got more than 27.
An unbroken 93-run partnership between Dale Benkenstein and Albie Morkel pushed Durham to the top of the North Division points table with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Derbyshire at the County Ground. Poor sunlight had reduced the game to 18 overs a side after more than half of Derbyshire's innings was through. Rikki Clarke and Dan Birch boosted the total to 118 after a slow start, adding 33 together. But Durham's target was revised to 121 and they looked like making a hash of the modest chase when they lost their openers for ducks. But after the loss of another wicket, Durham were steadied by Benkenstein and Morkel, who raced to the target in 15.2 overs.