T20 Blast: Surrey & Birmingham Bears win to maintain quarter-final hopes
Surrey and Birmingham Bears kept their T20 Blast quarter-final hopes alive by winning their penultimate group games.
The Bears beat Lancashire by seven wickets to move within a point of the top four in the North Group.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby took 4-20 as Lancashire were bowled out for just 102 at Edgbaston, and the Bears eased to victory with 5.5 overs to spare.
Aaron Finch passed 500 runs in this year's T20 Blast during Surrey's seven-wicket win over Hampshire at The Oval.
England's Jason Roy fell for a first-ball duck in the opening over of Surrey's chase but Australian Finch (67 not out) continued his excellent T20 form to guide the hosts to their target of 134.
Despite the victory over Lancashire lifting them to 13 points, last season's runners-up Birmingham Bears are relying on other results if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals:
- Durham, Lancashire and Worcestershire have already qualified.
- A Yorkshire win over Northants on Thursday would all but eliminate the Bears, as that result would leave Yorkshire and Notts Outlaws on 14 points and they play each other in the final round of North Group games on Friday.
- In that scenario, the winners of that match at Headingley would take the only remaining qualification spot. The Bears would need a tied game or no result at Headingley and also to beat Worcestershire to reach the quarter-finals.
- Should bottom side Northants surprise Yorkshire on Thursday, the Bears would secure a top-four finish if they win their final group game and Yorkshire also beat Notts Outlaws.
Like Birmingham Bears, Surrey's hopes of a quarter-final spot depend on them winning their final South Group match against Glamorgan on Friday and other results going in their favour:
- Somerset and Gloucestershire have already qualified.
- Kent will secure qualification if they win against group leaders Somerset on Thursday, which would leave Surrey, Sussex and Glamorgan battling for the remaining top-four place.
- Surrey are fifth with 14 points, one point behind Glamorgan, but both will be overtaken by Sussex if they beat Gloucestershire on Thursday.
- Should Sussex slip up on Thursday, a Surrey win on Friday would be enough for them to qualify - provided they keep their net run rate higher than that of Sussex.