England star Zak Crawley maintained his summer love affair with Southampton as he inspired Kent to beat Hampshire with a stunning maiden T20 Blast century.
On the ground where he hit 267 for England against Pakistan three weeks ago, Crawley hit an unbeaten 108 off 54 balls as Kent won by eight wickets.
But Surrey then leapfrogged Kent to top South Group by the end of the night with a 30-run win against Middlesex.
In North Group, Lancashire were derby winners, beating Yorkshire in Leeds.
The Lightning moved to within two points of unbeaten leaders Notts Outlaws, with a three-point cushion over Leicestershire Foxes, with three games left.
In South Group, Surrey are top on better run-rate after South African batsman Hashim Amla (67) and Will Jacks (55) shared an opening stand of 101 to set up their side's total of 218-5, matching their highest score in two decades of T20 trips to Lord's.
Middlesex's young side had a worthy stab at getting the runs, with debutant Joe Cracknell making an encouraging 28 off 21 balls, but they were clearly going to fall short even before skipper Steve Eskinazi was brilliantly run out for for 77 by Jamie Overton in the 17th over - and ended on 188-5.
It all leaves Surrey and Kent both on 10 points, with Sussex on nine after their defeat by holders Essex and Middlesex still just in touch on six. But Essex, now off the bottom on four points, need a lot of results to go their way and twice winners Hampshire can no longer qualify.,
Crawley keeps up cracking form
Opening batsman Crawley had been in decent enough form in this year's Blast, having followed up his marathon career-best double century in the final Test against Pakistan with 196 runs in six innings for the Spitfires, including just one half-century, at 39.20.
But his stunning century, compiled at a rate of exactly two runs per ball, was in a different league as Kent bounced back well from Saturday's defeat by Sussex.
It was an innings with a breathtaking array of shots, including two sixes and 14 fours, to every corner of the ground.
Backed by 38 off 29 balls from fellow England man Joe Denly in a second-wicket stand of 121, Crawley reached three figures just before the end as Kent got home on 183-2 with 17 balls to spare.
In the process, Crawley followed Andrew Symonds, Azhar Mahmood, Sam Northeast, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly by becoming the sixth Kent batman to make a hundred in all three main forms of the professional game.
Lawrence engineers Essex win
In the other afternoon start in South Group, Dan Lawrence's 81 - only five short of his T20 best - proved the difference as holders Essex finally won a game of T20 in 2020 - by 12 runs at Hove.
Sussex were kept in the hunt by 47 from Aaron Thomason on his T20 debut and 30 in 17 balls from David Wiese. But, from 152-4, needing 46 off 20 balls, they lost four quick wickets, including Wiese and one of Essex's match winners on Finals Day a year ago, Ravi Bopara.
Essex kept their faint qualification hopes alive with a first win in seven attempts in T20 since that great day at Edgbaston, although they did start the campaign with a tie and a rain-off.
Lancashire defeat depleted Vikings
Yorkshire Vikings were hit by the pre-match loss of four players for their North Group meeting with Pennine rivals Lancashire in Leeds.
Top wicket-taker Matthew Fisher, leg-spinner Josh Poysden, batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore and England all-rounder David Willey all had to drop out in accordance with coronavirus prevention guidelines.
The club say they are "awaiting results of a Covid test which will determine future availability".
Although they had Dawid Malan, now ranked the world No 1 T20 batsman, back from England duty for his Yorkshire white-ball debut, he only made 27 and they were well beaten.
Yorkshire looked well set at 78-1 in the ninth over but with Luke Wood and Matt Parkinson each taking three wickets, they fell well short of par on 145-9.
Lancashire captain Dane Vilas (44*) and Rob Jones (38*) then righted the ship after a couple of wobbles to lead their side home on 148-4 with 13 balls to spare..
Tuesday, 15 September (start times BST)
14:00 - Gloucestershire v Birmingham Bears - Bristol
18:30 - Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire Rapids - Northampton
18:30 - Leicestershire Foxes v Derbyshire Falcons - Leicester