Bears through; Yorkshire miss out
A review of Friday night's action in the NatWest T20 Blast, as Birmingham Bears booked their quarter-final spot.
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Birmingham are through to the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals after leapfrogging Yorkshire to claim the final North Group qualification spot on Friday evening.
The Bears went into the concluding round of pool fixtures lying fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Yorkshire, but the two sides swapped places following the former's comprehensive victory over Leicestershire at Edgbaston and the latter's dramatic home defeat to Nottinghamshire.
Yorkshire had looked set to win their match and hang on to the last-eight berth having posted 200 for five, to which Aaron Finch contributed 89, including seven sixes.
Nottinghamshire, with Alex Hales hitting 67, managed to pull off a six-wicket triumph with four balls to go, though, as James Taylor (35 not out) fired off three fours and a six in consecutive balls in the penultimate over before James Franklin (19 not out) wrapped things up in style with a six.
Meanwhile, Birmingham were cruising towards a 52-run victory, Varun Chopra's 72 steering them to 160 for six before Leicestershire slumped to 108 all out, with Recordo Gordon taking three wickets.
Joining Birmingham, pool winners Lancashire and runners-up Nottinghamshire in the last eight from the North Group are Worcestershire, who retained third place after comfortably beating Derbyshire at New Road.
After being inserted, the hosts ended their innings on 209 for four, with Ross Whiteley having smashed nine sixes in an unbeaten knock of 84, and they subsequently sealed a 28-run win as Derbyshire, limited by Jack Shantry and Joe Leach (two wickets apiece), could only get to 181 for seven in their 20 overs.
The night's other northern clash saw Durham win by five wickets at home against Northamptonshire.
Adam Rossington posted 52 as Northants made 195 for three before Durham bounced back from 73 for five to end up on 199 for no further loss, with John Hastings (80 not out) and Calum MacLeod (64 not out) sharing a stand of 126.
Glamorgan took the last available quarter-final slot from the South Group as their eight-wicket thumping of Gloucestershire at Cardiff ensured they hung on to fourth place.
The away side, put in, struggled to 108 for nine as Jim Allenby, Michael Hogan and Graham Wagg took two wickets each and Murray Goodwin (41 not out) and Jacques Rudolph (44 not out) then helped the Welsh outfit to 110 for two inside 12 overs.
The other teams to advance are third-placed Hampshire, already done with their group fixtures by Friday, and Surrey and Essex, who stayed second and first respectively after both suffering defeats.
Essex were beaten by seven wickets at Chelmsford by Sussex, for whom Luke Wright produced an incredible innings, smashing an unbeaten 153 from 66 balls which featured 12 fours and 11 sixes.
The home side had looked good on 225 for three, but that - and Tom Westley's 109 not out, plus 75 from Jesse Ryder - was subsequently eclipsed as Sussex got to 226 for three with nine balls remaining.
Meanwhile, Surrey, with Kevin Pietersen making 32, lost by 21 runs away against a Kent side relying on other results if they were to gatecrash the top four.
Kent's 175 for seven, boosted by Darren Stevens' 67, proved enough as their opponents closed on 154 for seven.
Somerset also began the evening with an outside chance of progression to the next round, but like Kent missed out to Glamorgan despite rounding their group campaign off with a victory.
They triumphed by 22 runs at home against Middlesex after they won the toss, opted to bat and Nick Compton's 58 had helped them to 183 for three.
The quarter final line-up sees Lancashire host Glamorgan next Friday, Surrey play Worcestershire at home and Essex entertain Birmingham the next day, while Hampshire travel to Nottinghamshire on the Sunday.
Essex v Birmingham Bears
Surrey v Worcestershire Rapids
Nottinghamshire v Hampshire
Lancashire v Glamorgan