T20 Blast: North Div review
Holders Northamptonshire Steelbacks are on the verge of elimination from the NatWest T20 Blast after a 31-run defeat to the Worcestershire Rapids.
If Nottinghamshire Outlaws get the better of Leicestershire Foxes on Sunday at Trent Bridge then the Steelbacks' defence of the title is as good as over.
Daryl Mitchell and Colin Munro were the stars for the victors, the former claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in any format to help dismiss the hosts for 131 in reply to Worcestershire's 162-9 - a total built around Munro's quickfire 49.
After the victory, Mitchell said: "We assessed the pitch, Colin (Munro) and myself and we thought that 150 was about par so we were a shade over that.
"We bowled very well and kept them under pressure as it was starting to stick in the pitch a bit.
"We executed our plan to perfection, it's generally been our preference to bat first and it was a good wicket to put a score on the board.
"We try to go hard in the powerplay and although we lost a few wickets in the first half of the innings but (Ben) Cox held us together."
Jeetan Patel took a hat-trick to help Birmingham Bears claim an exciting five-wicket victory over Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley.
The veteran spinner dismissed Kane Williamson, Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth off successive balls in the ninth over to help reduce Yorkshire to 62-5 and although the hosts recovered to post 147-6, it was not enough to deny Birmingham.
Led by Laurie Evans' 69 not out off 43 balls, which included nine fours and two sixes, the Bears - who looked in trouble at 40-4 - squeezed home with two balls to spare in front of a 6,251 crowd.
Victory for the home side would have ensured them of a place in the last eight of the competition but now they will most probably have to beat Nottinghamshire at the same venue in a week's time to make the cut. The win for Bears also kept them in the frame.
A delighted Patel said: "It was my first hat-trick in any form of cricket. A lot of bowlers get two-in-two but to go on and make it three in a row is a very nice feeling.
"The first wicket was that of Williamson and I was happy to stop him gaining more momentum. It was great to go on and bowl Gale and Lyth with the next two deliveries.
"Obviously there was some luck attached but I was very happy to achieve the feat and then all credit to Rikki Clarke, Laurie Evans and Ateeq Javid for getting us home with the bat."
Lancashire secured themselves a home quarter-final with a convincing 35-run defeat of Derbyshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
After skipper Paul Horton had opted to bat first, the home side's top order enjoyed themselves against Wayne Madsen's attack, amassing 225-7, the highest total in a T20 game at Old Trafford and also the most Derbyshire have ever conceded in the format.
Both Ashwell Prince and Karl Brown made fifties before the Lancashire bowlers then restricted Derbyshire to 190-7, despite Madsen's 45 and Marcus North's 41.
Leicestershire beat Durham by three wickets with one ball to spare in a low-scoring thriller at Grace Road.
The Foxes looked set for a comfortable win when they restricted the Jets to 117-9 after putting them into bat on a slow-paced pitch. But they found scoring just as difficult and it took an unbeaten eighth wicket stand of 30 between Matt Boyce and Jigar Naik to see them to victory.
Boyce was the top scorer in the match wit h 46 off 42 balls and deservedly struck the winning boundary off the penultimate ball of the last over bowled by Chris Rushworth.
Having stumbled to 90-7, the Foxes needed 21 off the last two overs and Naik put them on course for victory by clubbing Mark Wood for a straight six followed by a top-edged four over the wicket-keeper.
The over cost 15 runs and after four singles off Rushworth's final over Boyce pulled the fifth delivery to the square-leg boundary.