Simon Harmer’s Essex team finished the Vitality Blast on a poor note after they were beaten by Sussex during the final round of pool fixtures on Sunday.
With spots in next week’s quarter-finals up for grabs the North, Central and South groups went at it for the final time and although Essex’s hopes of qualification were already already dead and buried prior to the game, a spirited performance was expected to conclude the competition.
But, instead, Luke Wright’s Sussex handed Essex their sixth defeat of the campaign, clinching the match by four wickets.
Wright won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that worked out nicely as they restricted Essex to 136-9 in 20 overs.
In response, Sussex were able to reach their target in the penultimate over of the innings, despite Harmer picking up the wicket of fellow South African David Wiese.
Sussex will now face Dane Vilas’ Lancashire for a spot in the semi-final, despite the Manchester-based team losing to Leicestershire on Sunday.
Vilas will be hoping his team can respond after a poor performance in their final group game, where Colin Ackermann inspired his Leicestershire outfit to a 22-run victory.
— Vitality Blast (@VitalityBlast) September 20, 2020
Leicestershire, on the other hand, will tackle Nottinghamshire in the first quarter-final on 1 October after the latter topped the North group, following an 18-run win over Durham on Sunday.
Surrey and Kent will go head to head once again when they square off in the quarter-final with Heino Kuhn, in particular, hoping to perform better with the bat after managing a duck when the two sides met on Sunday.
Surrey, with the help of Jason Roy, proved far too strong for Kent and comfortably won the match by six wickets.
Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire will face off in the final quarter-final after the two teams emerged as the top two contenders from the Central group.
Northamptonshire beat the Birmingham Bears by three wickets in their final pool match on Sunday, despite Richard Levi managing only one run with the bat, while Gloucestershire got their seventh win of the season by beating Somerset by two wickets.
Vitality Blast quarter-final
- Nottinghamshire vs Leicestershire
- Surrey vs Kent
- Sussex vs Lancashire
- Gloucestershire vs Northamptonshire