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Hodge takes Leicestershire to Twenty20 victory

Leicestershire 169 for 3 (Hodge 77*, Snape 34*) beat Surrey 168 for 6 (Brown 64) by seven wickets
Scorecard

Brad Hodge guided Leicestershire to victory in this year's Twenty20 Cup final against Surrey at Edgbaston. After Surrey set a challenging total of 168 for 6, thanks to 64 from Alistair Brown, Hodge kept his nerve to take his side home with a cool and calculated 77 not out as Leicestershire took the trophy with five balls to spare.

In front of another packed house for a Twenty20 match, Hodge was Leicestershire's hero. He saw them home with help from Darren Maddy, who became the first player to pass 500 runs in the tournament, and Jeremy Snape, who chipped in with 34 not out as Surrey lost their title by seven wickets.

It was Brown who made the early running for Surrey, though, with a typically brutal innings of 64 from 41 balls - his second successive half-century in the final - and Mark Ramprakash also contributed with 23 not out in Surrey's total. Brown was in the party mood. He clubbed nine fours and two sixes, mainly through the offside, as Leicestershire failed to make an early impression with the ball. He added 80 with Scott Newman, who scored a quick 21 and kept Surrey's momentum going.

Brown, who was dropped on 39, was eventually caught by John Sadler in the deep going for another big hit, but he set the platform for the final fling. Rikki Clarke and Azhar Mahmood all chipped in, but Ramprakash held things together to guide Surrey to their healthy score.

However, in the end it wasn't enough. In their chase, Leicestershire's two in-form batsmen, Maddy and Hodge made a flying start, punching anything loose to the boundary. They put on 62 for the first wicket, with Maddy scoring 22. Hodge continued to shine, bringing up his half-century from 25 balls, and seven fours.

However, the introduction of Adam Hollioake, playing in his last Twenty20 match, in the 11th over pegged Leicestershire back. Darren Stevens came in and played some handsome shots, but he was miraculously caught on the long-off boundary by Mahmood for 20, and John Sadler then chipped Hollioake straight to Clarke at midwicket.

Leicestershire required 35 off the last four overs, and two boundaries in the 16th over from Snape tilted the math back in his side's favour. Snape then crunched a huge six over Hollioake's head in the penultimate over, and Hodge smacked him back down the ground two balls later - and that was effectively that.

The equation came down to four needed from the last over, and this time Mahmood couldn't repeat his heroics from the semi-final, as Snape caressed the first ball through midwicket for the winning boundary to start Leicestershire's well-deserved victory.

Leicestershire 165 for 5 (Maddy 72) beat Glamorgan 144 (Hemp 44, Cleary 3-20, Henderson 3-26) by 21 runs
Scorecard

A blistering innings from Darren Maddy helped put Leicestershire into the final of the Twenty20 Cup. Leicestershire, last year's semi-finalists, piled on a healthy total of 165 for 5, and Glamorgan's innings never really got going, despite 44 from David Hemp, and they went down by 24 runs.

After Brad Hodge won the toss and opted to bat, he and Maddy made a rollicking start, with Maddy smacking 72 from 40 balls, and becoming the first player to 500 runs in the competition. He brought up his half-century from only 25 balls, and scored six fours and four sixes in all.

Hodge and Maddy put on 81 for the opening stand before Hodge was out caught by Hemp off Robert Croft for 22. Darren Stevens then chipped in at No. 3 with 27 from 20 balls, and although the middle order slightly lost their way during the closing overs, their total proved to be too much for Glamorgan.

Mark Cleary made sure of that with two early wickets, including Matthew Maynard for 9. Hemp and Mark Wallace gave Glamorgan an outside chance with a stand of 49, but once Hemp was caught off the impressive Claude Henderson, his side were always up against it.

The wickets continued to tumble as Glamorgan searched for the big hits, and Ottis Gibson wrapped things up when he had Michael Kasprowicz caught on the long-on boundary. Leicestershire now face Surrey in the final, and will be hoping to go one step further this time.

Surrey 133 (Brown 32, Keedy 3-25) beat Lancashishire 132 for 8 (Hooper 26, Cork 25) by one run
Scorecard

Surrey made it through to their successive Twenty20 Cup final - but only just. In an enthralling finish to a low-scoring match against Lancashire, they scraped home by a single run.

After Surrey had squandered a blistering start to make 133 all out from their 20 overs, Azhar Mahmood held his nerve to bowl the final over with Lancashire requiring seven to win. However, Chris Schofield could only manage a single and Surrey booked their place in the final.

Warren Hegg inserted Surrey at the toss, and Alistair Brown got off to a flying start, smacking seven fours in quick time before he was bowled by Andrew Flintoff for 32. Flintoff then picked up the wicket of Scott Newman for 12 as Surrey began to falter. Gary Keedy and Dinesh Mongia then spun Surrey into deeper trouble with five wickets between them, including Mark Ramprakash for 24 and Adam Hollioake for 1.

Requiring 134 to win, Lancashire made a bright start as Flintoff hit his first ball for four. However, Azhar rolled out one of his effective slower balls, and Flintoff hit it high in the air to Brown at mid-off for 15. From then on, wickets continued to fall and Lancashire were up against it, especially when Carl Hooper was bowled by Nayan Doshi for 26. However, Dominic Cork entered the fray and smacked 25 from 13 balls, but the big moment of the match came when he skied Hollioake to Clarke at mid-off and Surrey held their nerve to close out a thrilling match.