The Lancashire Lightning sealed their place in the Friends Life t20 Finals day at the end of the month thanks to an impressive 20 run victory over the Sussex Sharks at the County Ground in Hove.
Despite being outsiders to reach Edgbaston, the Lightning silenced a capacity ground as the Sharks ended a promising t20 campaign with a disappointing defeat after their run chase went off the rails once they had to collapsed to just 31-3 in the 5th over.
Having seen off the Sharks the Lightning will now join the Hampshire Royals, Somerset Sabres and the Leicestershire Foxes in the draw for the Friends Life t20 semi finals which take place on Saturday, August 27th.
Faced with a victory target of 153, the Sharks failed to recover after the early loss of Lou Vincent (0), Ben Brown (2) and Ed Joyce (7), who were all dismissed inside the power play overs.
Chris Nash (31) and Michael Yardy (24) offered the home side hope with a fourth wicket stand of 41 but once Gary Keedy (2-27) struck twice in the space of three balls to remove the pair in the 12th over the Sharks hopes were left hanging by a thread.
Naved-ul-Hasan gave the home fans something to cheer for thanks to a cameo innings of 34 but the Lightning remained in control to seal their place in the Finals day for the first time since 2007.
Having batted first the Lightning took control of the game thanks to Paul Horton (49) and Karl Brown (44) who shared a 4th wicket stand of 61 to help the visitors record a total of 152-8.
Wayne Parnell (2-26) and Monty Panesar (1-15) lead the Sharks attack but Horton remained at the crease to steer the Lightning to a competitive total despite a lower order batting collapse in the closing overs.