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July 18, 2005
Surrey gained a place in finals day with an extraordinary win in a bowl-out against Warwickshire after the match had been tied under Duckworth-Lewis. Tim Murtagh bowled the decisive ball - having also struck with his first ball - as Surrey won 4-3, with Azhar Mahmood also producing a 100% record. Heath Streak put Warwickshire ahead and Dewald Pretorius hit the stumps twice to put the pressure on Surrey, but Murtagh responded, then sprinted around the outfield swinging his top around his head. The game itself was a relatively low-scoring affair as the bowlers dominated. Mark Ramprakash's run-a-ball 34 rescued Surrey from 97 for 6 and rain the interrupted Warwickshire's reply. Chasing a revised target of 118, Pretorius levelled the scores with a two from the last ball but that was only the start of the drama.
The defending champions, Leicestershire, showed their Twenty20 know-how yet again as they booked a place in the finals day for the third time out of three. Charl Willoughby was the star as Middlesex fell 19 runs short of their target of 160. Willoughby took the first three wickets to fall, leaving Middlesex on 16 for 3 and he finished with 3 for 11 from his four overs. Jamie Dalrymple and Scott Styris launched a fightback, adding 87, but the pressure of a climbing asking-rate proved decisive and Styris's 73 from 55 balls was in vain. Leicestershire's 159 for 6 was built around solid, rather than spectacular, contributions with Darren Maddy top-scoring with 36.
Mal Loye blasted 73 from 32 balls as Lancashire overcame a spirited Derbyshire performance, sealing a 17-run win. Loye launched 12 fours and two sixes in his innings, while Andrew Symonds produced another stunning allround show to follow up his one-man effort against Sussex in the C&G. Symonds ensured that Lancashire posted an impressive total with his 57 off 37 balls after Derbyshire threatened to turn the innings around. Gary Keedy then grabbed three vital wickets - including Michael di Venuto for 41 - to quell Derbyshire's run-chase. But they refused to give up and Tom Lungley's 25 off 16 balls kept the game alive until Jimmy Anderson wrapped up the win in the final over.
Ian Blackwell guided Somerset into their first finals day with a superb allround effort against Northamptonshire. Firstly, his three wickets prevented Northants from building on a platform of 85 for 1. Usman Afzaal's 35 off 23 balls launched the innings in positive style and ended as the highest score. Despite losing Graeme Smith early, Somerset were put on course by Matthew Wood's 58 and Blackwell's 31 from 16 deliveries. Bilal Shafayat struck twice in two balls but Keith Parsons made 38 and Somerset's win with one ball to spare made the result seem closer than it really was.
Lancashire v Surrey
Leicestershire v Somerset
Semi finals and final take place at The Oval on July 30. Order of semi-finals to be decided by the ECB
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