Birmingham seal home Blast quarter-final despite stunning Shaheen Afridi over
Birmingham Bears booked a home Vitality Blast quarter-final with a two-wicket victory over North Group rivals Notts Outlaws at a damp Trent Bridge.
The Bears were already sure of a place in the knock-out stages after five straight wins, but found themselves in big trouble on seven for four chasing 169 as Pakistan paceman Shaheen Afridi took four wickets in the first over.
However, opener Rob Yates put together a calm 65, with Jacob Bethell and Jake Lintott both making 27, to see them home with five balls to spare.
Although Tom Moores had earlier hit a swift 73, the Outlaws always looked to be under par after being bowled out for 168 in their 20 overs.
The Outlaws now need to beat Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge in their final game to join the Bears in the last eight.
Lancashire Lightning saw their derby showdown against Yorkshire Vikings at Emirates Old Trafford abandoned without a ball bowled because of heavy rain.
With the points shared, second-placed Lancashire are still not secure of progression, but Yorkshire miss out having needed victory to keep their hopes of qualification alive.
Worcestershire’s match against Durham ended in a tie on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern after bad light brought an early end at New Road.
Durham opener Graham Clark had made 78 from 47 balls with Michael Jones (39), Brydon Carse (39) and Ashton Turner (33 not out) also making useful contributions in their side’s 216 for four.
The Rapids were 112 for three after 11 overs, with New Zealander Mitchell Santner making a swift 42 and Adam Hose unbeaten on 16.
With a point each, Durham’s quarter-final hopes are over, while the Rapids need to win at Derbyshire on Sunday to progress.
Tom Wood struck a maiden T20 century to drive Derbyshire Falcons to a 71-run win over Leicestershire Foxes which keeps their qualification hopes alive.
Wood smashed an unbeaten 110 – with 12 fours and four sixes from 57 balls – while fellow opener Harry Came made 56 as the Falcons posted 231 for four, their highest T20 total.
Peter Handscomb lead the Foxes’ reply with 61, but Zaman Khan took three for 27 as Leicestershire finished 160 all out.
Derbyshire now need to beat Worcestershire to have a chance of making the quarter-finals.
Tom Banton’s fine 84 helped South Group leaders Somerset pull off an 18-run win over Surrey at the Oval.
Somerset, who had already secured a home quarter-final, made 208 for five after being put in to bat.
New Zealand duo Matt Henry (four for 30) and Ish Sodhi (three for 33) then helped limit Surrey to 190 for nine in reply, leaving them needing to beat Essex to stay in the mix for the runners-up spot.
At the Ageas Bowl, Australian Ben McDermott struck 54 to put defending champions Hampshire Hawks in prime position for a quarter-final spot with a 21-run DLS win over Glamorgan.
Hampshire reached 97 for two in 9.2 overs before a rain delay, and Glamorgan were set 83 in six overs.
Despite Colin Ingram’s quickfire 34, good defensive bowling saw Glamorgan restricted to 54 for one as Hampshire moved level with Surrey in second place on 16 points.
Ravi Bopara’s fine century helped Sussex Sharks beat Kent Spitfires by 11 runs in another rain-hit match at Canterbury.
Bopara made his highest T20 score of 108 as Sussex posted a formidable 228 for seven.
In reply, Kent were 31 for one when heavy rain set in, and a revised DLS target was set of 129 from 10 overs.
Although Alex Blake made 30 and Jordan Cox an unbeaten 37, it always looked a tough run chase, and the hosts finished on 117 for four.
Middlesex beat Essex by two wickets in a high-scoring clash at Chelmsford to dent the Eagles hopes of making the quarter-finals.
All-rounder Ryan Higgins hit a swift 61 and Martin Andersson’s unbeaten 24 saw Middlesex home in the final over, despite Matt Critchley’s career-best five for 28.
Essex had made 225 for six, with 69 not out from Daniel Sams, but now head to the Oval on Sunday needing victory over Surrey to stand any chance of progress.