Lancashire Lightning and Notts Outlaws booked their places in the T20 Blast quarter-finals with victories against Worcestershire and Yorkshire.
North Group leaders Lancashire beat the holders Worcestershire by 25 runs at New Road thanks to Steven Croft’s 94.
Notts edged out Yorkshire by just three runs at Trent Bridge as seamer Harry Gurney held his nerve in the last over.
A tie between Hampshire and Essex did neither side a favour while Northants and Derbyshire were also winners.
Lightning strike to down Rapids
Lancashire have been top of the tree in the North Group for a while this season and showed just why when they amassed an imposing 218-5 against Worcestershire.
Captain Croft struck six sixes and six fours in his 55-ball 94 while Australia all-rounder James Faulkner provided some late hitting in an unbeaten 34.
Worcestershire would have fancied their chances still after an impressive nine-wicket win at Birmingham Bears on Friday, but Moeen Ali was unable to repeat his Edgbaston heroics.
At 57-5 their challenge was all but over, but Ross Whiteley did manage to provide some entertainment with 89 not out from just 40 balls that featured four sixes and 11 fours.
It was sadly not enough to get them close as they finished on 193-7. Worcestershire drop to third with the defeat but know one win from their remaining two games will see them through.
At Trent Bridge, the game went down to the last over as 2017 winners Notts Outlaws ended the slim hopes Yorkshire Vikings had of reaching the last eight.
The hosts battled their way to 148-7 with Joe Clarke making a 46-ball 50 at the top of the order.
Yorkshire’s reply seemed well set at 99-2 in the 14th over, but Adam Lyth fell for 48 to put the wobbles on.
It came down to the White Rose needing 12 to win off Gurney’s last over and when Will Fraine smashed the first ball for six, an away win looked odds-on.
But Fraine fell next ball to a stunning Matt Carter catch and Gurney’s trickery of slower balls and variations undid the incoming Jordan Thompson.
He was unable to get Gurney away as he swung and missed at three of the last four balls. Notts climb to second and will now try to book a home quarter-final in their last two group games.
Elsewhere, a second win in three days for Derbyshire sees them occupy the last of the North Group’s quarter-final spots after they brushed aside Leicestershire by nine wickets at Grace Road.
The Foxes could only muster 124-9 before Billy Godleman’s unbeaten 52 and Wayne Madsen with 37 not out saw them home for the loss of just one wicket with nine balls to spare.
Leicestershire’s bid for the quarter-finals is over but for Northants there is still a slim chance. A four-wicket victory at Edgbaston against Birmingham Bears means they could still repeat their 2016 success.
Two wickers apiece from Faheem Ashraf and Rob Keogh helped keep the Bears to 150-6.
A series of crucial partnerships along the way then helped the Steelbacks reach their target, including Richard Levi’s 44 and 42 from Josh Cobb.
Faheem struck the winning boundary off Henry Brookes as Northants made it to 153-6 with two balls remaining.
Tie all but ends both sides’ chances
The only game of the day in the South Group saw Hampshire and Essex both try and capitalise on impressive wins on Thursday against Middlesex and Sussex.
Both knew a win would effectively end the other’s quarter-final hopes.
Another sluggish Ageas Bowl pitch saw Essex battle to 139-7 as Dan Lawrence was again in the runs with 69 off 47 balls. Kyle Abbott was on song with 3-15 with the ball.
Hampshire stuttered in reply and looked out of contention needing 31 off the last 12 balls, but Essex seamer Aaron Beard had an over to forget.
He conceded 20 off the penultimate over, including three wides and three fours, as Sam Northeast looked set to take the hosts to victory.
Hampshire needed 11 to win off Mohammad Amir’s last over and another four from Northeast brought that down to five off four balls.
But Amir did enough to keep it tight and Northeast was eventually run out off the final ball trying to complete the two runs needed for the win.
He finished with 73 from 56 balls and both sides took a point each.
However, they will both probably have to win two games each and have other results go their way to stand a chance of finishing in the top four.
Crowds flood in on sun-drenched Sunday
As Ben Stokes was doing his thing at Headingley in England’s epic one-wicket win against Australia, crowds were still turning up in their numbers for the five Blast fixtures.
However, there were some curious scenes where large pockets of spectators took their eyes off the action they had paid to watch for a while to see the thrilling conclusion to England’s run-chase.
A stunning Bank Holiday weekend on the weather front helped bring out those crowds.
The Bank Holiday offers two more games on Monday – one in each group.
Lancashire host Derbyshire at Old Trafford while in Cardiff, Glamorgan entertain Sussex.