Kim Barnett - anchored Gloucs innings
Gloucestershire have booked their quarter-final place in the Benson & Hedges Cup with their fourth win out of four. There were also wins for Worcestershire, Essex, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Sussex. Today's Gold Award winners were Darren Maddy, Andy Flower, Ian Harvey, Mike Powell, Vikram Solanki and Billy Taylor.
Gloucestershire maintained their 100% competition record by comfortably beating Somerset at Bristol. Kim Barnett anchored the top part of the Gloucestershire innings with a painstaking 67, and after Mark Alleyne chipped in with 47, Martyn Ball provided a late flourish with an unbeaten 37 off just 20 balls. Ian Harvey again shone with the ball for Gloucestershire, taking five for 20 as their West Country rivals were bowled out for 231, 40 runs short of victory.
Worcestershire are in line for a quarter-final place after they easily beat Glamorgan at New Road. Chasing just 192 to win, the hosts reached the target with more than ten overs to spare. Vikram Solanki led the charge with 90 off as many balls to see them home after Andy Bichel had led an inspired Worcestershire bowling attack with figures of three for 24.
A well-paced, unbeaten innings of 79 from Andy Flower followed 47 from Nasser Hussain to ensure a six-wicket win for Essex over Hampshire at Chelmsford, also with ten overs to spare. Essex skipper Ronnie Irani had set up the run chase, taking five for 28 as Hampshire were dismissed for 174.
At Old Trafford, Darren Maddy and Vince Wells enabled Leicestershire to defend a modest total of just 175, which featured a solid 58 from opener Iain Sutcliffe. Maddy took four for 34 and Wells four for 32 as Lancashire were unceremoniously bundled out for 158 to give Leicestershire a 17-run win. Only Andrew Flintoff (47) made any impression with the bat.
A captain's hundred from Mike Powell propelled Warwickshire to an exciting six-wicket win over Northants at Edgbaston. Powell received valuable support from Ian Bell (56) as Warwickshire reached their target of 227 with just five balls to spare. Earlier Shaun Pollock (two for 18) was Warwickshire's star bowler as Mike Hussey (84) and Mal Loye (57) set up the Northants total.
Billy Taylor was Sussex's bowling hero as they defeated Middlesex by 28 runs at Lord's to make a quarter-final place almost certain. Taylor took five for 28 and Robin Martin-Jenkins three for 27 to dismiss the home side for 224. At one point Middlesex were 62 for seven, but a partnership of 112 between wicket-keeper David Nash and fast bowler Ashley Noffke restored some pride. Sussex's total of 252 owed much to an opening partnership of 139 between Richard Montgomerie and Timothy Ambrose.