Hampshire and Somerset make quarter-finals
Midlands, Wales, West Division
A half-century from Ben Wright and 49 from Tom Maynard led Glamorgan to a six-wicket win against Gloucestershire at Bristol. The match had no impact on which teams would qualify for the quarter-finals from the division, though, because Gloucestershire and Glamorgan were at the bottom. Gloucestershire relied on David Brown, who scored 56, and James Franklin to lead them to 148 after they had struggled to 33 for 3 at the start. The total, however, wasn't enough despite Glamorgan's top-order misfiring. They were 54 for 4 before Wright and Maynard began their match-winning partnership of 97.
A terrific spell from Andrew Hall and a half-century by Stephen Peters ensured Northamptonshire finished first in their division with a seven-wicket win against Worcestershire at Northampton. Johan van der Wath struck the first blow, bowling Vikram Solanki for 5, before Hall and Nicky Boje increased pressure on Worcestershire by bowling economically. Hall struck vital blows as well, taking 4 for 19, while Boje picked up 1 for 16 to restrict Worcestershire to only 109 for 9. Northamptonshire lost one opener early but the other, Peters, remained unbeaten on 61 off 52 balls to finish the match with 12 balls to spare.
Warwickshire held their nerve to clinch a thriller by one run against Somerset at Edgbaston and qualify for the quarter-finals by finishing second in the group. Somerset, however, also qualified by virtue of being the best third-placed team in the three groups. Jim Troughton, who scored 62, and Jonathan Trott added 89 for the second wicket for Warwickshire after which Rikki Clarke boosted the innings to 193 for 6 with an unbeaten 51 off 32 balls. Somerset chased manfully, with all of their top-order batsmen getting starts, but Jeetan Patel struck three damaging blows to the middle order. Eventually Ben Phillips was run out while attempting the run to tie the game and Somerset finished on 192 for 7.
Durham qualified for the quarter-finals of the Twenty20 Cup by winning a must-win game against Leicestershire at Grace Road. Leicestershire, who also would have progressed had they won, did not score enough after winning the toss and were restricted to 133 for 8 in 20 overs. They lost both openers, Matthew Boyce and Jim Allenby, for 19 each to Ben Harmison, who eventually finished with 3 for 28. Boeta Dippenaar attempted to hold the innings together with 63 off 48 balls but received no support from his team-mates as Mitchell Claydon wrecked the middle and lower order during a spell of 3 for 14. Chasing a modest target, Durham were given an explosive start by David Warner who biffed 44 off 18 balls, an innings which included five fours and three sixes. His opening partner Phil Mustard provided valuable support, scoring 27 off 28, and their stand of 75 all but secured the game. Claude Henderson struck thrice in quick time, reducing Durham from 75 for 0 to 81 for 3 but Dale Benkenstein scored 31 to secure victory in the 17th over with six wickets in hand.
Lancashire finished first in the North Division with a massive nine-wicket win against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Chasing 173, Lancashire lost opener Paul Horton early but there were no other hiccups in their innings as VVS Laxman and Steven Croft secured victory with an unbeaten 162-run partnership for the second wicket. Croft smashed 83 off 47 balls, with three sixes and nine fours, while Laxman contribution was 78 off 53 balls, with eight fours and a couple of sixes. They were so dominant that Lancashire reached the target with two overs to spare. Nottinghamshire weren't nearly as forceful when they batted, relying on a half-century from David Hussey to get up to 173 for 7 after the top order failed to fire. Croft was useful for Lancashire with the ball as well, taking 2 for 35 while Sajid Mahmood picked up 2 for 26.
There was only pride to play for at Headingley and Derbyshire beat Yorkshire by 37 runs to win the clash between the two bottom-placed teams in the division. Derbyshire made a shaky start after getting sent in, losing four wickets for 74 runs, before Wavell Hinds and Garry Park revived them with 49 and 41 respectively. Hinds remained unbeaten to steer his team to 164 for 5 after 20 overs. Yorkshire's openers made a steady start adding 42 before the innings collapsed. Offspinner Jake Needham dismissed Jacques Rudolph and Adam Lyth with the score on 68 and struck twice more to finish with figures of 4 for 21. Yorkshire slipped to 94 for 7 and were eventually dismissed for 127.
Kent cemented their top position in the South Division with a 16-run win against Surrey at Beckenham. Kent's openers did not make substantial contributions after they chose to bat but Martin van Jaarsveld scored 64 off 40 balls and Geraint Jones made a 30-ball 47 to lead their team to 184 for 7. Matthew Spriegel was Surrey's best bowler with figures of 4 for 33. Ryan McLaren also took a four-wicket haul for Kent as he and the rest of the bowlers chipped away at Surrey's batting order. All of the top six made more than 20 but no one got past 30 and stayed long enough to chase down the target. Surrey were eventually restricted to 168 for 9 in 20 overs.
An excellent performance from Sussex's bowling attack restricted Middlesex to a below-par total at Lord's and helped set up a six-wicket victory. The result ensured Sussex finished second in the division and qualified for the semi-finals. Yasir Arafat, Luke Wright and James Kirtley took two wickets each to keep Middlesex to 127 for 8. Sussex also began their chase badly, losing three wickets for 28 runs but Dwayne Smith, Ed Joyce, who top-scored with 41, and Chris Nash chipped in to reach the target with an over to spare.
Sean Ervine's all-round effort led Hampshire to a six-wicket victory against Essex at Chelmsford. The win ensured Hampshire's qualification for the quarter-finals because they were the second best of the teams which finished in third place. Dimitri Mascarenhas gave Hampshire a strong start by dismissing Essex's openers, Varun Chopra and Mark Pettini, with only 15 runs on the board. That advantage was driven home by Ervine who took three middle-order wickets for 26 and helped limit Essex to only 149 for 6. Hampshire had just lost two wickets quickly to slip to 87 for 4 when Ervine began his innings. He stayed unbeaten, scoring 39 off 22 balls with three sixes, and Mascarenhas also chipped in with 27 as Hampshire won with five balls to spare.
Twenty20 Cup quarterfinal draw
Kent v Durham
Lancashire v Somerset
Northamptonshire v Hampshire
Sussex v Warwickshire
The matches will be played on July 27, 28 and 29.