Glamorgan have sealed the first qualification spot from the South group, with six wins (as well as four washouts) from their 13 games, and know that victory against Middlesex would seal a home quarter-final.
Defeat to Middlesex and they could be pipped should Hampshire win, and one of Essex, Surrey and Gloucestershire win to join Glamogran on 16 points, or two of the latter trio if Hampshire lose, in which case NRR would decide the top two.
Hampshire are a point behind Glamogran ahead of a final day game against Somerset, and have all but qualified, as to finish outside the top four, they would need to lose to Somerset on Friday, with the winner of Essex v Kent also winning their other remaining game, and Gloucestershire v Surrey finishing as a tie/no result, with both sides also winning their other game, and overturning a hefty NRR margin.
In short Hampshire can begin preparing for a quarter-final next week.
However, victory against Somerset will secure a home tie. Should they lose, two wins for any of Essex, Surrey or Gloucestershire, or Kent – coupled with a NRR swing – would see them claim second place.
Sussex are in third, the first of five teams currently on 12 points, but with only one game to play they know that only victory at home to Essex on Friday will be enough for qualification. The Sharks cannot finish in the top two, so they will be away should they make the quarters.
A Sussex victory would be enough for outright qualification if the following results all happen: Surrey beat Gloucestershire and Kent; Essex fail to beat Kent; Somerset lose to Hampshire and; Middlesex beat Gloucestesrhire then lose to Hampshire. Should any of those six results go against the Sharks, they would be relying on NRR.
Essex’s fate is in their own hands with two games to play, as victories against Kent on Thursday and Sussex on Friday will secure a top four place. It could lead to a home quarter-final should either Glamorgan and Hampshire slip up on Friday.
Should they beat Sussex but lose to Kent, only a similar sequence of results as for Sussex above would see 14 points qualify outright, with a NRR battle the more likely outcome.
Somerset are in a similar position as Sussex with only a trip to Hampshire remaining on Friday. Defeat will see them knocked out whilst victory will only seal outright qualification if both Surrey v Gloucs and Sussex v Kent finish as a tie/no results, as well as other results going their way.
If any two of Essex, Surrey or Gloucestershire take three points from their two games, or one of them plus two Kent victories, Somerset would be knocked out regardless. The Taunton outfit will be hoping results go their way to force a tie on 14 points, with NRR the deciding factor.
Surrey go into their final two games knowing, like Essex, that two wins will guarantee qualification, and could also lead to a home tie should Glamogran or Hampshire slip up, whilst two defeats will see them eliminated. One win from two might also not be enough should two of Essex, Gloucesteshire (having beaten Surrey) and Kent win their final two games. With other sides playing each other,14 points would only secure a tie for third or fourth, leaving Surrey in need of improving their NRR, currently -0.271.
Gloucestershire are in a similar position to Surrey, at the bottom of the five sides currently tied on 12 points, but they know victory at Middlesex on Tuesday would give them the opportunity to seal qualification by beating Surrey – as they conclude their campaign on Thursday.
Two defeats will see them eliminated, whilst one win would lead to an anxious wait for results elsewhere on Friday, where if any two of Essex, Surrey or Kent take three (or four in Kent’s case) points, Gloucs would be eliminated. With their NRR currently the worst in the group on -0.362, they would need to improve significantly to qualify in case of any tie.
The equation is simple for Kent, who may sit in eighth but remarkably their fate is still in their own hands, as victories at Essex on Thursday and at home to Surrey on Friday would see them qualify. Anything less and they are eliminated. Two wins could also see them claim a home tie, but would need Hampshire to lose, as well as a significant NRR swing, and Gloucestershire to fail to win both their remaining games.
Middlesex may sit bottom of the pile, but can still qualify should they win their final two games, at home to Gloucestershire on Tuesday before traveling to Glamorgan on Friday. But if Essex and Surrey win both their games, then Middlesex are out regardless. Should either slip up, then the North London side’s hope would be to finish level on 14 points to qualify on NRR.