The Nottinghamshire Outlaws became the first team to seal a place in the Friends Life t20 quarter finals thanks to a 10 run victory over the Worcestershire Royals.
The victory ensures the Outlaws will play their quarter final at Trent Bridge after opening up an unassailable lead over the Durham Dynamos, Lancashire Lightning and the Royals at the top of the Northern Group.
Tamim Iqbal (35) and Alex Hales (39) set the foundations for the victory with an opening stand of 69 which was ended by Moeen Ali in the 8th over when the Bangladeshi international was stumped by Ben Scott.
Ali struck again two overs later to remove Hales before Adam Voges (16) and Samit Patel (11) quickly followed as the Royals fought their way back into the game after the Outlaws started to stutter.
Having got off to a good start, the Outlaws middle order failed to maintain the momentum as Saeed Ajmal (28-3) and Gareth Andrew (37-2) restricted the visitors to a total of 152 after the visitors lost their last six wickets for just 46 runs.
Fresh from picking up two wickets during the Outlaws innings, Ali (51) got the Royals reply off to the perfect start after he recorded his 5th t20 half century of his career to give the hosts the momentum.
Having got off to a good start the Royals innings unravelled in a similar fashion to that of the Outlaws once Ali was run out by Voges at the end of the 10th over to leave the host’s 79-2.
Alexei Kervezee (21) and Shakib Al Hasan (20) offered hope but the Outlaws slowly took control of the game as the runs started to dry up and once danger man Gareth Andrew (4) was bowled by Luke Fletcher in the 18th over the Royals hopes all but disappeared.
With just two games remaining the Royals now have to hope the teams around them at the top of the Northern group start to drop points in order for them to join the Outlaws in the quarter finals.