There are some who believe Twenty20 is little more than a lottery, but Surrey's qualification for a fourth successive finals day suggests otherwise.
After their batsmen had racked up their highest total in the competition, their spinners strangled the life out of Gloucestershire to silence a crowd of 8,000 and set up a trip to Trent Bridge on August 12.
It might take a special team to stop them. Surrey's score of 224 centred on a murderous fourth-wicket stand of 139 in 12 overs between Mark Ramprakash and Rikki Clarke.
Ramprakash hit 10 fours and three sixes in a sparkling 50-ball 85 that made you wonder whether his England career might have turned out differently if Twenty20 had come along earlier.
Clarke hasn't played for England since June 2004, but he made a championship double-century over the weekend and now added an unbeaten 79 off 42 deliveries. In this kind of form he must be a good outside bet for a World Cup spot.
Clarke was badly dropped on 32 by David Brown at wide long-on and again on 39 as Mark Hardinges fluffed a skyer off his own bowling, but between the strokes of fortune were strokes of the highest class, especially down the ground.
Gloucestershire's innings began inauspiciously. Ian Harvey had to change his bat after cracking the first ball to extra cover, but then failed to make contact with Azhar Mahmood's next four deliveries. It was all downhill after that.
Craig Spearman top-edged Azhar to deep square leg in the third over, but the real damage was done when Anil Kumble came on to bowl the fifth. Off his first ball Hardinges was run out by the substitute fielder Stewart Walters at mid-on - Ramprakash was suffering from a back spasm - after being sent back by Ian Harvey. In his second over Kumble bowled Harvey with a quicker one, before Hamish Marshall was run out in his third.
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