As many as 728 runs were scored in the Group A encounter at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, with Gloucestershire managing to defend a total of 367 for a narrow six-run win. Chris Dent’s 117 and Marcus Harris’s 94 provided the platform for Gloucestershire’s commanding total, while James Bracey and Oliver Price came up with cameos. But Durham remained in the hunt throughout the chase, with useful contributions from all of their batters. Paul Coughlin’s 77 was the highest score for the hosts while five other batters crossed 30. But with 19 needed in the final over, Coughlin fell early in the final over bowled by Tom Price as he finished with 4 for 70 and helped his side prevail.
In another close game at Edgbaston Birmingham, Cheteshwar Pujara’s 79-ball 107 went in vain as Sussex fell short of a 311-run target, losing to Warwickshire by four runs. Opting to bat, Warwickshire rode on Robert Yates’s 111 and half-centuries from Will Rhodes (76) and Michael Burgess (58) to finish with a 300-plus total. Ali Orr (81) came up with a good knock, supporting Pujara as they kept Sussex hopes afloat. Pujara struck seven fours and two sixes during his stay, with three fours and a six coming in the 45th over off Liam Norwell shortly after Krunal Pandya finished with 3 for 51. With 20 needed off the last two overs, Oliver Hannon-Dalby picked up the important wicket of Pujara off the first ball of the 49th over. It was a tame end after that as Sussex ended up being restricted to 306/7.
In Gorse Lane, Grantham, Middlesex and Nottinghamshire were involved in a high-scoring contest, with both teams crossing 300. But yet again it was the team batting first winning the game as Middlesex defended 355 by keeping Nottinghamshire to 328. Umesh Yadav played a key role with the ball for Middlesex, picking up 4 for 54. Haseeb Hameed (114) and Ben Slater (90) put on a big partnership after Nottinghamshire were 31/2 in the chase. But key wickets in the death overs, with Toby Greatwood dismissing Hameed and Martin Andersson ending an entertaining innings from Fateh Singh (45), kept Nottinghamshire in check.
Earlier, Stevie Eskinazi (135) and Sam Robson (103) put on a 234-run partnership for the second wicket to provide Middlesex a superb platform. At one stage Middlesex, having reached 269/1 in the 36th over, were looking good for 400. But regular wickets meant that they were bowled out for 355, which eventually sufficed.
Louis Kimber scored a century before Beuran Hendricks (3-36), Wiaan Mulder (3-51) and Roman Walker (2-51) picked up the bulk of the wickets to help Leicestershire to a 45-run victory. Leicestershire were 67/4 at one stage after being asked to bat before Kimber and Harry Swindells (70) led the fightback with a 115-run stand for the fifth wicket, helping their side post a challenging total. Somerset kept losing wickets at regular intervals and despite Matt Renshaw (55) and George Bartlett (46) offering some fight, they ended up well short as they were bowled out for 224.
A clinical all-round show from Northamptonshire helped them secure a six-wicket win against Glamorgan at the County Ground in Northampton. Saif Zaib bagged a four-wicket haul while Ben Sanderson and Nathan Buck picked up five wickets between them to restrict Glamorgan to 221. David Lloyd top-scored with 65 but a string of single-digit scores reduced Glamorgan to 125/6. The lower order came up with a much better performance, helping their side past the 200 mark. The chase was set up by Ricardo Vasconcelos and Emilio Gay’s 188-run opening stand which came in quick time. Vasconcelos struck a 105-ball 104 while Gay scored 81 off 76. While Glamorgan did manage to pick up a few wickets, it came too late as Northamptonshire went over the line with 14.1 overs to spare.
In a battle of the middle orders, No. 7 Toby Albert’s 84 not out overshadowed Brooke Guest’s 82 batting at No. 5 as Hampshire secured a nervy two wicket win against Derbyshire at the County Ground in Derby. Asked to bat, Derbyshire slipped to 58 for 4 before Guest’s 101-ball knock, along with useful contributions from Anuj Dal (42) and Alex Hughes (31) helped Derbyshire finish with 246/9. Hampshire too did not have a great start in the chase, slipping to 68/5 at one stage. But Albert ensured that his team remained in the chase while Fletcha Middleton’s 64 and Scott Currie’s 24 provided the support from the other end to help the visitors get over the line in the penultimate over.