Gatting and Yardy guide Sussex home
Sussex 248 for 6 beat Lancashire 244 for 7 by four wickets
Sussex maintained the pressure on Group A leaders Somerset with an entertaining Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford. The Sharks won their second consecutive match as they chased down 245 with four wickets and four balls to spare.
Lancashire's chances of reaching the semi-finals are all but over after losing five of their eight matches. With Andrew Flintoff in the home dressing room, the hosts were indebted to 69 off 73 balls from captain Paul Horton - including five fours - and a late 36 not out off 30 balls from Kyle Hogg as they posted a competitive 244 for 7.
James Kirtley took 3 for 35 from seven overs for the visitors while Mike Yardy, Monty Panesar and Ollie Rayner also struck. Joe Gatting hit a season's best 71 off 82 balls for Sussex in reply but it took a fifth wicket partnership of 44 between Yardy and Andrew Hodd to take their side to the brink. Yardy, who finished 46 not out off 50 balls, hit the winning runs off Sajid Mahmood in the final over.
Gareth Cross and Horton shared Lancashire's highest partnership, 40 for the fourth wicket, but they lost wickets at regular intervals on a placid track. Tom Smith hit a solid 34 off 38 balls at the top of the order before Hogg hit three fours and one six in a late and important effort. Hogg and Stephen Parry added 33 off the last 21 balls, the former doing the bulk of the scoring.
Sussex openers Ed Joyce and Chris Nash got the chase off to a flyer as they took advantage of some wayward action from Daren Powell with the new ball. The West Indian went for ten off his first two balls, Nash doing the damage, and his first two overs went for 23.
Nash, however, fell in the third over when he holed out to Karl Brown at deep square leg off Hogg. Joyce and Gatting continued the momentum with a second wicket stand of 63 inside 13 overs. They helped their side to 80 for 1 after the 12 overs of Powerplay.
But when Joyce departed in the 15th over Lancashire were starting to sniff a victory. He dragged the left arm of Parry onto his middle stump for 46 to leave the score at 86 for 2 before Murray Goodwin chipped to a diving Horton at short cover six overs later.
And when Gatting was trapped lbw by Gary Keedy, Sussex were 174 for 4 in the 30th and needed 70 off the last ten overs. Smith took two late wickets to keep Lancs interested, including Hodd for 30 off 27 balls, but Yardy's three fours and a six were vital.
Parry and Smith finished with 2 for 37 off eight and 2 for 30 off four respectively. Sussex have moved to within two points of Somerset after eight matches but have played two more than their rivals.