Worcestershire Royals qualified for the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20 despite losing their final group match by 7 wickets against Somerset at New Road.
The visitors won the toss and put the Royals into bat and lost Vikram Solanki, in the third over, when, playing early to an Albie Morkel delivery, he got a leading edge and was caught by Kevin O'Brien at mid-off for 6. Moeen Ali had made 17 before he was caught by O'Brien at mid-on off Lewis Gregory for 17, with the score on 28 in the 5th over, and then 6 runs later James Cameron was caught by Peter Trego at first slip off Alfonso Thomas for 4. The slow paced wicket made it tough for the batsmen to punish the Somerset bowling attack and when Morkel struck twice in the 15th over, by dismissing both Daryl Mitchell (19) and Gareth Andrew (0), the Royals had reached 76-5.
Alexei Kervezee was run out by Max Waller for 2, with the score on 79, and then Phil Hughes and Ben Scott provided a late flurry by adding 37 for the seventh wicket in less than 4 overs. Scott was out in the last over when, attempting a scoop, he was caught by O'Brien at fine leg off Thomas for 19 and Hughes was unbeaten on 45 off 50 balls, with 4 fours, as the Royals finished on 119-7 off their 20 overs.
Somerset started off aggressively as they quickly took the score to 33 in the 4th over before Richard Levi was caught by Ali off Andrew (1-27) for 19. Then the players went off for rain, with the score on 43-1 off 5.3 overs, but play resumed 10 minutes later and with the second ball after the resumption Jack Shantry (1-29) got Peter Trego to edge behind to Scott for 4. Jos Buttler had got to 13 before was trapped lbw off Ali (1-13) for 13, with the score on 61 in the 9th over, but then Nick Compton and James Hildreth both played steadily, by punishing any full and short deliveries from the Royals bowlers, and their unbeaten fourth wicket partnership of 59 took the visitors to victory, with 7 balls to spare, with Compton unbeaten on 42 off 54 balls, with 5 fours, and Hildreth unbeaten on 35 off 30 balls, with 4 fours and 1 six.
There then followed a wait for the results of the other group matches and once the Welsh Dragons had beaten the Warwickshire Bears then a place in the quarter-finals was assured. When the Gloucestershire Gladiators had beaten the Northamptonshire Steelbacks the Worcestershire Royals had finished up as one of the two best placed teams in third place. The quarter-final draw sees the Royals facing Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley on either Tuesday 24th or Wednesday 25th July.