| Gloucstershire v Surrey
Surrey Lions won the toss in this clash of arguably the two best one-day sides in the country and elected to take first knock as the sun disappeared between wispy high clouds.
Mike Smith opened the bowling for the Gloucestershire Gladiators and all but cleaned up Ian Ward - looking resplendant in the Sky Sports 'helmet-cam' - off the very first ball. An almost watchful start by Ward was in stark contrast to Ally Brown who took an instant liking to the bowling of Jon Lewis, launching two balls out of the park in the second over.
Ward joined the party himself with a cracking four over mid-off when Smith afforded him a little width, but Brown's cameo ended after just nine balls as a huge mow to leg went straight up - and then, more to the point, almost down the throat of Matt Windows to leave Surrey one down for 30 off 4 overs.
Smith continued in miserly fashion, but at the other end Lewis was being carted as first Rikki Clarke and then Ian Ward profited from wayward deliveries - Ward actually sending one ball clean over the top of the grandstand.
Brilliant fielding by Jonty Rhodes helped Smith finish the most economical spell of the entire competition, conceding just 11 runs from his four overs. With the pressure starting to tell, Clarke telegraphed a charge down the track to a ball from medium pacer Mark Hardinges, and Jack Russell's understudy Stephen Pope showed that he was a watchful pupil, having the bails off in a flash.
Ward found the boundary twice in a Hardinges over, then Hollioake belted a Martin Bell delivery over the infield as Surrey sought to accelerate. Hollioake fell in the following over, trying to repeat the exercise off Hardinges but only succeeded in finding the safe hands of Gidman to reduce Surrey to 95-3 off 13.
The introduction of Ian Harvey - arguably the best one-day bowler in the country at present - was anticlimactic, the Australian being particularly fortunate to go for just 9 from a scruffy first over, but at the other end Hardinges struck again, removing the dangerous Mahmood for just 13 as Surrey were seemingly losing their way on 112-4.
Harvey demonstrated why he is so highly rated, removing Thorpe for 4 and then Ian Ward for a hard-fought 49, both with excellent yorkers. His second and third overs had been equally as good as his first had been dreadful.
Ball, too, was keeping a tight rein on things as first Ramprakash and then Salisbury threw their wickets away in a desperate search for the boundary. Saqlain survived one chance, dropped on the long-on boundary but he was run out off the final ball of the innings to leave Surrey on 147-9 - the highest score anyone had made against Gloucestershire in the competition.
Chasing 148 for victory, Gloucestershire opened with the familiar Spearman/Harvey combination which had done so much damage in the competition. Surrey gave Jimmy Ormond the new ball, and from just the second delivery, Harvey narrowly escaped being run out without facing a ball - a costly miss, in the context of what had previously gone in the competition, perhaps?
Craig Spearman, going for a big shot, played too soon at the last ball of Ormond's first over and was bowled with just four on the board. Azhar Mahmood struck in his first over too, Jonty Rhodes tamely edging the ball through to wicket-keeper Batty. He almost accounted for Gidman as well, repeatedly beating the outside edge in what was fast becoming a torrid start to the Gladiators' innings.
Mahmood struck again in his second over. Harvey attempted a big shot but only succeeded in sending a steepling top edge to Saqlain Mushtaq. Gloucestershire's big three had all gone with just 17 on the board. The crowd thought it was four down as Matt Windows was pouched by Batty, but an earlier indiscretion for overstepping by Mahmood had caused the umpire to rule a 'free hit'.
Windows and Gidman set about rebuilding the innings, and two Gidman boundaries off Ormond threatened to tilt matters back towards Gloucestershire, but the introduction of Saqlain Mushtaq soon had them on the back foot once more as Saqlain clean bowled Windows to leave the innings in tatters at 36-4.
We were treated to the rarity of legspin at both ends with the introduction of Ian Salisbury, but Hardinges and Gidman were seldom able to profit as the asking rate soared. Despite being hit for one huge Gidman six, Saqlain ended his spell having conceded just 24 runs.
Adam Hollioake, the competition's leading wicket-taker, brought himself on as Surrey continued to turn the screw. An edge by Hardinges for four brought up the fifty partnership, but two balls later the bowler had the last laugh, bowling the batsman off his pads with the total on 87.
Chris Taylor started aggressively, pulling Hollioake to square leg for a much-needed boundary, then a Salisbury no-ball was swatted high and handsome for six to bring up the Gloucestershire hundred and Gidman's fifty. Another massive blow by Gidman saw 19 runs coming off the over, and the pendulum began to swing away from Surrey once more.
Hollioake bowled a superb 17th over, conceding just three singles in the over, and then Azhar Mahmood effectively ended the game as a contest by bowling Gidman off his pads for an excellent 61.
Hollioake's final over started with Chris Taylor depositing another six over midwicket, but despite the best efforts of himself and Bell, Gloucestershire finished a tantalising six runs short of victory.
Twenty20 Cup, 2003, 2nd Semi Final
Gloucestershire v Surrey
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
19 July 2003 (20-over match)
Result: Surrey won by 5 runs
Series: Surrey advances to the final
Umpires: B Dudleston and G Sharp
TV Umpire: JW Holder
Man of the Match: Azhar Mahmood
Surrey innings (20 overs maximum) R M B 4 6
IJ Ward b Harvey 49 65 48 5 1
AD Brown c Windows b Lewis 18 9 7 1 2
R Clarke st Pope b Hardinges 15 19 23 1 0
*AJ Hollioake c Gidman b Hardinges 15 13 11 1 0
Azhar Mahmood c Rhodes b Hardinges 13 9 9 1 0
GP Thorpe b Harvey 4 0 2 1 0
MR Ramprakash c & b Ball 8 12 11 0 0
+JN Batty not out 10 9 6 1 0
IDK Salisbury b Ball 0 0 1 0 0
Saqlain Mushtaq run out 5 3 4 0 0
Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 2, nb 4) 10
Total (9 wickets, 20 overs) 147
DNB: J Ormond.
FoW: 1-26 (Brown), 2-55 (Clarke), 3-91 (Hollioake),
4-112 (Azhar Mahmood), 5-116 (Thorpe), 6-129 (Ward),
7-137 (Ramprakash), 8-137 (Salisbury),
9-147 (Saqlain Mushtaq).
Bowling O M R W
Smith 4 0 11 0
Lewis 4 0 37 1
Hardinges 4 0 37 3 (1nb, 1w)
Ball 4 0 26 2
Harvey 4 0 32 2 (1nb)
Gloucestershire innings (target: 148 runs from 20 overs) R M B 4 6
*CM Spearman b Ormond 1 3 5 0 0
IJ Harvey c Saqlain Mushtaq b Azhar Mahmood 7 14 8 1 0
JN Rhodes c Batty b Azhar Mahmood 0 0 1 0 0
APR Gidman b Azhar Mahmood 61 57 49 6 3
MGN Windows b Saqlain Mushtaq 3 13 11 0 0
MA Hardinges b Hollioake 24 21 26 3 0
CG Taylor not out 21 20 15 2 1
MCJ Ball not out 11 9 8 1 0
Extras (lb 5, w 3, nb 6) 14
Total (6 wickets, 20 overs) 142
DNB: +SP Pope, J Lewis, AM Smith.
FoW: 1-4 (Spearman), 2-5 (Rhodes), 3-17 (Harvey), 4-35 (Windows),
5-87 (Hardinges), 6-120 (Gidman).
Bowling O M R W
Ormond 4 0 21 1 (1nb)
Azhar Mahmood 4 0 28 3 (1nb, 1w)
Saqlain Mushtaq 4 0 24 1
Salisbury 4 0 34 0 (1nb, 1w)
Hollioake 4 0 30 1 (1w)