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Sabres hopes receive blow from the Panthers

The Somerset Sabres hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter finals were dealt a serious blow by the Middlesex Panthers who scrambled a tense tie at the John Walker Ground in Southgate.

The Sabres seemed on course for the knock out stages of the competition with the Panthers still needing 18 runs from the final over as the visitors looked to end their final group game with a victory.

With nothing to lose for the lowly Panthers, Ryan McLaren (25) smashed two sixes off the bowling of Kieron Pollard to set up a tense finish after he was dismissed by the West Indian to leave the hosts needing four runs from the remaining two deliveries.

Having scored two runs from the first ball he faced, it was left to Tom Smith (3) to scramble through the tying run to leave the Sabres needing other teams to drop points in order to secure a quarter final spot.

It proved to be a memorable day for McLaren (3-37) after he picked up three wickets for the Panthers to help restrict the Sabres big hitting line up to a total of 143-6.

Peter Trego (36) and Pollard (33) led the way but with five days still remaining in the group stages the Sabres will be watching on, hoping 19 points will be enough to guarantee a place in the knock out stages.

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