Blast quarter-final line-up secured after night of thrills and spills

Blast quarter-final line-up secured after night of thrills and spills

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Leicestershire. Pic courtesy of Youtube

Eight teams are just one win away from reaching Finals Day after the Natwest T20 Blast witnessed one of the most dramatic evenings in its nascent history.

Pretty much every one of the 18 teams were in contention for a quarter-final berth before the evening got underway, with only Durham and Worcestershire set to be packing their bags early.

That meant all nine teams in the South Group could still book their place in the latter stages – and the night’s entertainment lived up to the nerve-shredding scenarios for the armchair-statisticians.

So, where to start?

From starting the night unsure of whether they would reach the last eight, Derbyshire are now just one win away from reaching their first Finals Day in T20 history – with a home quarter-final to boot.

Making 146-8, their first knockout game in 12 years looked in doubt at the halfway stage, even with Wayne Madsen’s 55.

But Imran Tahir gave the Falcons the firepower they have craved for so long, bowling out Worcestershire for just 98 thanks to figures of four for 17.

They finished second in the North Group, behind only Nottinghamshire, who fell just two runs short of chasing down Leicestershire’s 203.

But the 404-run thriller was enough to send the Foxes through in fourth place, the foundation of which came from Cameron Delport’s mesmeric, unbeaten 109 while opening the batting.

Matt Pillans’ 3-24 can also not be undersold – going at just six runs per over in a match that saw each set average ten, successfully defending a single-figure target in the final over.

The Birmingham Bears are also through from the North section after they scraped home by two wickets against Lancashire.

That was thanks to Dominic Sibley’s half-century, eclipsing Jos Buttler’s earlier effort for the Lightning, despite the Bears losing seven for 15 when approaching the target.

That means Sibley will now be reunited with his former employers, set to head to Surrey and the Oval in the quarter-finals.

That’s after the Londoners prevailed by just ten runs over Kent, who saw their own quarter-final ambitions fall by the wayside in defeat.

Jason Roy was the architect of the damage when smiting 78 off 43 balls with 12 boundaries in all, in an innings which saw nobody else make more than 20.

But their 154 for nine proved defendable, if only just, as the old stalwart Rikki Clarke – who will also do battle with his former club – took a miserly four for 16 to end the contest at Canterbury.

Glamorgan were assured of top spot even before their final ball was bowled, edging a rain-affected contest against the now-eliminated Middlesex.

Eoin Morgan’s side could only post 99 for eight from their reduced 14 overs, as Michael Hogan and Marchant de Lange took three wickets each, in spite of Adam Voges’ bustling 50.

But the Welsh county wobbled home, with one over to spare, to launch themselves emphatically into a tie with Leicestershire for a place at Final’s Day.

Emphatic displays were not to end there, as Somerset roared into the quarter-finals by bowling out Hampshire for 91, as both ensured they will play at least one more game.

At 189-3 with half-centuries from Peter Trego and Johann Myburgh, Somerset would have been confident of defending a score at The Ageas Bowl.

But it’s unlikely they would have even expected what was to follow, with just two Hampshire players making double figures as Roelof van der Merwe (three for 13) and Craig Overton (three for 17) rolled through their batting line-up to see them sneak through in fourth place.

Natwest T20 Blast quarter-finals

Tuesday 22nd August: Derbyshire v Hampshire
Wednesday 23rd August: Glamorgan v Leicestershire
Thursday 24th August: Nottinghamshire v Somerset
Friday 25th August: Surrey v Birmingham Bears

 

 

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