Essex secured the Pro40 Division Two title with a four-wicket win over Kent at Canterbury. At the start, Kent could have taken the crown on run-rate with a win, and a captain's innings of 120 not out from Rob Key put them in the driving seat as they posted 246 for 5. Essex's task got harder when Mark Pettini was dismissed off the first ball of the innings, but Jason Gallian and Ravi Bopara chipped in with fifties and then Grant Flower, the hero of Essex's FP Trophy win at Lord's last month, again stepped up to the plate and his 42-ball 68 not out guided his side to victory with an over to spare.
Kent, who were beaten finalists in the Twenty20 Cup and the FP Trophy, also missed out on a place in next weekend's play-off. "It starts to get to you when you keep getting to these big games and you don't win them," Key told the BBC. "We've got to get that off our backs. I suppose bottling has to be levelled at us. That's three finals now, this was effectively a final, we had wides, no-balls, people can bowl better than we did today. I can only apologise to everyone who has followed us this year because we should have done a lot more."
The play-off spot went to Glamorgan, who started the day in second place but were leapfrogged by Yorkshire, who edged out bottom side Northamptonshire by four runs at Wantage Road after a dramatic late collapse from the home side. It gave Darren Gough a late celebration in his last few weeks before retirement. Yorkshire limped to 182 for 8 with only Gerard Brophy, returning to his former club, making any significant contribution with 59. David Sales, who went in at No. 1, led Northants' chase almost single-handed with 88 and at 157 for 4 they were cruising home. However, Deon Kruis was the hero as he went through the lower order and completed Yorkshire's great comeback when he bowled Sales, who was last-man out, with more than six overs in hand.
At a sunny Oval, Surrey gained a slither of solace after their dismal performance in the Championship during the week with a 34-run win over Leicestershire. Chris Murtagh struck 74 as Surrey made 204 for 5, and that was too much for the visitors who lost wickets regularly and were always off the pace after slipping to 45 for 4. Jade Durnbach polished off the tail to finish with 4 for 28. Surrey's high-profile overseas signing Shoaib Akhtar performed the 12th man duties.
Tim Ambrose made 111 off 120 balls to help Warwickshire to a 29-run victory over Derbyshire at Derby. Ambrose put on 179 in 29 overs for the fourth wicket with Darren Maddy (64) as Warwickshire made 229 for 5, helping them to recover from 42 for 3. Derbyshire got off to a poor start, reduced to 33 for 3 and then 105 for 5, but while Wavell Hinds was blazing away they had an outside chance. He eventually fell for 84, and then Ian Salisbury weighed in with 4 for 28 at the death. Rikki Clarke, who left Derbyshire at the start of the month after one wretched season, was booed by home supporters on his return. He did little to make them change their minds as he made only 2.