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Royals sneak through to quarter finals

Worcestershire pulled off a last-gasp passage into the Twenty20 Cup quarter-finals after a thrilling 13-run victory over arch-rivals Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Worcestershire, needing to win to have any chance of qualifying, fulfilled their part of the bargain when they restricted the home side to 130 in reply to 143 for five.

When news filtered through that Essex had beaten Middlesex, Vikram Solanki's team celebrated, having qualified as one of the best third-placed teams.

Warwickshire, already assured of a home quarter-final, could only reflect on another one-day defeat to their rivals as the visitors have won eight of the last nine clashes.

Worcestershire chose to bat first but found the going tough and managed just eight from the first three overs and, just as the shackles were starting to come off, lost three wickets in seven balls.

Graeme Hick, having pulled Jimmy Anyon for six, edged the same bowler to slip. Neil Carter then struck with successive balls, flattening Solanki's leg stump and pinning Ben Smith lbw.

Phil Jaques and Steven Davies added 53 in six overs before Davies lifted Darren Maddy into the hands of Tim Groenewald at long-on.

Jaques advanced to 38 from 28 balls, with five fours, but then gave Paul Harris a return catch.

Kabir Ali (25 from 27 balls) and Roger Sillence (21 from 20) opted for an orthodox approach to ensure the full 20 overs were used.

They added 46 in the last six overs but when the innings was completed, its boundary tally stood at just 10 fours and one six.

Warwickshire made a steady and unspectacular start as they edged to 22 without loss from five overs.

Carter then top-edged Dewald Nel for six and thrashed the next ball for four but Maddy fell lbw in Daryl Mitchell's first over.

That started a wobble with Jim Troughton chipping Mitchell to mid-wicket and Carter (30 from 26 balls) giving Ray Price the charge and being stumped by Davies.

As the required run-rate spiralled above 10 per over, Mitchell knocked out Tim Ambrose's middle stump. Alex Loudon and Heath Streak made useful cameo innings but they went all too quickly.

Groenewald launched Kabir for a mighty straight six but needing 26 from the last two overs proved too much for Warwickshire but both sides went safely through to the last eight.

source - sportinglife.com
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