Pears lose but still make progress
The Friends Life t20 line-up for the quarter-finals has been decided, with Somerset, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Essex joining Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Sussex and Hampshire.
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Somerset topped the Midlands/Wales/West Group after Nick Compton and James Hildreth inspired them to a seven-wicket win against Worcestershire at New Road.
Phil Hughes helped the hosts to a respectable, if not defendable, 119 for seven, with Albie Morkel (three for 30) the pick of Somerset's bowlers.
But last year's beaten finalists were languishing on 61 for three in their reply before an unbroken stand of 59 from Compton and Hildreth saw them home with seven balls to spare.
All was not lost for their beaten opponents however, as Glamorgan's 22-run victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method over Warwickshire sent Worcestershire through by virtue of a healthier run-rate, with both sides on 11 points.
Gloucestershire also profited from Warwickshire's slip-up at Edgbaston, and they were grateful for the Duckworth-Lewis method after beating Northamptonshire by eight wickets at Wantage Road.
In a rain-hit encounter, Gloucestershire were given a target of 23 from five overs after Northamptonshire had fallen to 31 for four in 8.3 overs.
The result should never have been in doubt but despite losing captain Hamish Marshall and Ed Cowan, lbw and ran out by David Willey respectively, opener Benny Howell struck three fours in an unbeaten 12 to help Gloucestershire to their total after 2.2 overs.
Essex completed the last eight line-up despite their clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl being rained off without a ball being bowled.
The point collected meant James Foster's side qualified alongside Sussex and Hampshire from the South Group after being one of the two best third-placed sides.
Surrey's miserable campaign in the competition at least ended on a winning note with a seven-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method over South Group winners Sussex.
Set 62 in five overs after rain had forced a lengthy delay, Surrey reached their target in the final over thanks to an impressive cameo by Kevin Pietersen, who clubbed 36 off 16 balls.
Sussex had earlier made 104 without loss, with Luke Wright (54 not out) taking his aggregate in this year's competition to 308 runs, the third best in the country.
Kent also ended their campaign with a flourish, beating fellow also-rans Middlesex by three wickets at Uxbridge.
Both teams had just pride to play for and Darren Stevens was Kent's hero, taking three for 23 to restrict Middlesex to 124 for nine, while he struck three sixes in his 26 as the visitors got over the line with six balls to spare.
In the North Group, Durham and Lancashire tied their game at Chester-le-Street but their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals had ended earlier in the day due to Essex's result at Hampshire.
Lancashire had slipped from 69 for one after nine overs to 133 for eight, with Gareth Breese, Scott Borthwick and Chris Rushworth taking two wickets apiece.
Durham captain Dale Benkenstein (28) had the target down to six off the last over then two off three balls but Ajmal Shahzad held his nerve to ensure the spoils were shared.
Yorkshire concluded their most successful t20 campaign by beating Derbyshire by 21 runs at Headingley to top the North Group and earn a home tie in the quarter-finals.
Nottinghamshire had to settle for second place but they also guaranteed themselves a home tie in the last eight after Michael Lumb's 62 off 26 balls saw the Outlaws to a comprehensive 69-run win over defending champions Leicestershire at Trent Bridge.
Somerset v Essex
Nottinghamshire v Hampshire
Yorkshire v Worcestershire
Sussex v Gloucestershire
The ties will be played on July 24 and 25, with a reserve day in place in case of issues with the weather. Finals day is on August 25 at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.