Gareth Cross fired Lancashire to Twenty20 Cup finals day by smashing 62 from 35 balls in a six-run win against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
The 23-year-old wicketkeeper's first half-century in the competition took his side to 193 for five, and Warwickshire got commendably close in chasing the biggest total they have conceded in the short format, reaching 187 for seven after scoring 45 from the last four overs.
Lancashire called up Muttiah Muralitharan to end a ferocious assault of 58 from 29 balls by Neil Carter and the Sri Lankan magician, who claimed his 700th Test wicket last week, went on to take four for 18 after arriving back in England earlier in the day.
Carter, having hit seven fours and four sixes, drove Muralitharan's second ball straight to long off and the spinner successfully resisted attacking ambitions in dismissing Tim Ambrose, Tim Groenewald and Alex Loudon.
Jim Troughton (29) and Jonathan Trott (49) maintained Warwickshire's brave challenge, but with 20 wanted from the last over, their last hope went when Trott was bowled by Dominic Cork's first ball.
Having qualified from the northern group despite losing their last three games to the weather, Lancashire will now be making a return visit to Edgbaston to play a semi-final on Saturday August 4.
Winning the toss gave them a big advantage. Although Mal Loye drove a catch to cover in the third over, Stuart Law set a brisk tempo with 44 from 31 balls.
Loudon gave Warwickshire new heart when Law and Brad Hodge (26) put up straightforward chances after a stand of 67, but the off-spinner's last two balls went for six as Cross launched his offensive.
Three more sixes, two off Darren Maddy and another off James Anyon, helped him to 50 from 30 balls and he also hit three fours before driving a low catch to mid-wicket off Heath Streak.
Steven Croft was by no means overshadowed by Cross's big hitting, contributing an unbeaten 42 from 23 balls as the fourth-wicket pair clattered 97 from only 7.5 overs together.
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