Essex to face Birmingham in T20 Blast quarter-finals

Ryan ten Doeschate will lead Essex against Birmingham. PIC: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTOS

Ryan ten Doeschate will lead Essex against Birmingham. PIC: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTOS

First published in Sport

ESSEX will face the Birmingham Bears at Chelmsford in the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast on Saturday.

The Eagles may have lost their final three games of the South Group, including their final fixture against Surrey on Friday, but they still progressed to the next round as group winners.

Their closest rivals Surrey also lost their final game of the group stage at Kent, meaning they stayed in second place.

The Bears went into the concluding round of pool fixtures lying fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Yorkshire, but the two sides swapped places following the former's comprehensive victory over Leicestershire at Edgbaston and the latter's dramatic home defeat to Nottinghamshire.

Yorkshire had looked set to win their match and hang on to the last-eight berth having posted 200 for five, to which Aaron Finch contributed 89, including seven sixes.

Nottinghamshire, with Alex Hales hitting 67, managed to pull off a six-wicket triumph with four balls to go, though, as James Taylor (35 not out) fired off three fours and a six in consecutive balls in the penultimate over before James Franklin (19 not out) wrapped things up in style with a six.

Meanwhile, Birmingham were cruising towards a 52-run victory, Varun Chopra's 72 steering them to 160 for six before Leicestershire slumped to 108 all out, with Recordo Gordon taking three wickets.

Saturday's match at Chelmsford will start at 6pm.

For information on how to get tickets, visit www.essexcricket.org

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