| Leicestershire v Warwickshire
Leicestershire won the toss in this all-Midlands semi-final at a warm, sunny Trent Bridge. The boundaries had been drawn in, the bouncy-castles inflated and the ice-creams on stand-by.
Trevor Ward and Virender Sehwag opened the innings for the Foxes, but were separated in Waqar's first over as the hard-hitting Indian batsman tried to flick a ball of fuller length square on the leg side. The Warwickshire Bears were delighted when Leicestershire's danger man made a right hash of the shot, getting a leading edge and giving Nick Knight a simple catch in the gulley.
The Bears were fielding like tigers, and the reward for their athleticism came in the third over when Dougie Brown made a brilliant stop at mid-off then threw the wicket down at the bowler's end to leave Trevor Ward stranded by a yard.
Brad Hodge was finding Waqar a difficult proposition, but when Carter gave him a little room outside off stump, the Australian carved an extraordinary six over third man then hooked a shorter ball for another welcome boundary. Still, Leicestershire were making hard work of things.
The introduction of Graham Wagg added some impetus to the Foxes slow scoring, Stevens slamming three successive fours, then an inswinging yourker spread all three. Finally, Maddy drove one through the covers to end a hectic sixth over with Leicestershire on 43-3.
Collins Obuya appeared with his leggies but despite troubling both batsmen with flighted deliveries, all too often he was too short and was mercilessly cut to the point boundary by Hodge.
Warwickshire were tight in the field, giving nothing away and the pressure told as Maddy aimed over the top to a flighted ball by Obuya only to find Neil Carter at long on. Hodge, meanwhile was having little trouble putting the ball away and went to his half century with a slog-sweep off Obuya for six.
Nixon departed, caught by Obuya on the boundary off Dougie Brown, then Phil DeFreitas played himself in by smashing his first ball for six poker-straight past the bowler to leave Leicestershire 133-5 off 17 overs.
Waqar returned and continued to demonstrate his wonderful skills, picking up DeFreitas well caught by Obuya at fine leg. Hodge showed just how to play the yorker, backing away and smashing two from Brown straight through extra cover for desperately-needed boundaries to bring up the 150.
Hodge finally departed right at the death, smacking a Waqar delivery straight to the waiting hands of Dougie Brown at midwicket for an excellent 66, but it was Waqar's 3-21 off his 4 overs which seemed to be the defining performance as Leicestershire scrambled to 162-7.
The Warwickshire reply started slowly, just a classic Knight cut off Darren Maddy's first over but with the pinch-hitting Carter flexing his muscles, fireworks aplenty were in the offing. DeFreitas was pounded for 13 in his only over, but the unfortunate Leicester skipper tweaked a muscle in the process and did not feature in the bowling department for the rest of the game.
Jamie Grove's introduction probably settled the game as a contest in more ways than one. A decidedly ragged over contained no less than three wides and three no-balls (two for over-stepping) and the resultant 20 runs and 10 minutes put Warwickshire ahead of the target and Leicestershire behind the clock
Carter heaved Masters over midwicket to bring up the half-century partnership as early as the fifth over, then two lovely shots through the covers took Warwickshire on to 61 without loss after just five overs.
Sehwag became the fifth bowler to be tried in the opening six overs, but he gave the Leicestershire side just what they so desperately required - a brake on the scoring rate and a vital wicket as Carter top-edged to Grove at cover with the total on 67, of which his own contribution was 35 off 25 balls.
Ian Bell came and went, out leg before to Brad Hodge playing the dreaded reverse sweep, but Nick Knight carried serenely on picking up ones and twos all around the wicket. Sehwag ended his spell with the fine figures of 1-17, but new batsman Trevor Penney was finding his touch.
Nick Knight needlessly ran himself out with the total on 99, but Penney brought the hundred up by slamming Hodge straight over his head for four. The dashing Jim Troughton added his own brand of unorthodoxy to proceedings with a delightful dab through slip followed by a blistering reverse sweep off Jeremy Snape to hoist the Bears to 115-3 with still six overs to go.
Both Troughton and Penney were looking to scamper ones and twos, but never missed the opportunity to blaze the ball over the top. One slog-sweep by Penney went at least ten rows back into the packed grandstand.
It was all too much for Leicestershire as the Bears cruised level with an over to go. DeFreitas pulled everyone in, but Penney lifted the second ball of the final over to the long off boundary to bring Warwickshire home by 7 wickets.
Twenty20 Cup, 2003, 1st Semi Final
Leicestershire v Warwickshire
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
19 July 2003 (20-over match)
Result: Warwickshire won by 7 wickets
Series: Warwickshire advances to the final
Umpires: JW Holder and G Sharp
TV Umpire: B Dudleston
Man of the Match: BJ Hodge
Leicestershire innings (20 overs maximum) R M B 4 6
TR Ward run out 5 9 10 0 0
V Sehwag c Knight b Waqar Younis 5 7 3 1 0
BJ Hodge c Brown b Waqar Younis 66 68 50 7 2
DI Stevens b Wagg 14 11 11 3 0
DL Maddy c Carter b Obuya 26 25 25 3 0
+PA Nixon c Obuya b Brown 7 13 10 1 0
*PAJ DeFreitas c Obuya b Waqar Younis 11 4 6 1 1
JN Snape not out 9 9 6 1 0
JL Sadler not out 2 0 1 0 0
Extras (lb 5, w 8, nb 4) 17
Total (7 wickets, 20 overs) 162
DNB: DD Masters, JO Grove.
FoW: 1-12 (Sehwag), 2-12 (Ward), 3-38 (Stevens), 4-97 (Maddy),
5-125 (Nixon), 6-137 (DeFreitas), 7-160 (Hodge).
Bowling O M R W
Carter 4 0 27 0 (2nb, 2w)
Waqar Younis 4 0 21 3 (1w)
Wagg 2 0 24 1 (2w)
Brown 3 0 30 1 (1w)
Obuya 4 0 35 1 (1w)
Smith 3 0 20 0
Warwickshire innings (target: 163 runs from 20 overs) R M B 4 6
NM Carter c Grove b Sehwag 35 31 25 5 1
*NV Knight run out 32 50 35 4 0
IR Bell lbw b Hodge 4 9 9 0 0
+TL Penney not out 43 31 30 4 1
JO Troughton not out 33 23 21 6 0
Extras (lb 2, w 9, nb 8) 19
Total (3 wickets, 19.2 overs) 166
DNB: IJL Trott, DR Brown, GG Wagg, CO Obuya, NMK Smith,
FoW: 1-67 (Carter), 2-83 (Bell), 3-99 (Knight).
Bowling O M R W
Maddy 3.2 0 28 0 (1nb)
DeFreitas 1 0 13 0 (1w)
Grove 1 0 20 0 (3nb, 3w)
Masters 4 0 35 0
Sehwag 4 0 17 1
Hodge 4 0 27 1 (1w)
Snape 2 0 24 0