In the preview on Friday we suggested that it was perfectly possible for there to be a four-way tie at the top of Div 1 of the NatWest County T20 competition after the final games were played on Sunday. As it turned out three teams all finished on 24 points.
Yorkshire, Ireland and Middlesex are at Harrogate CC
Sussex, Somerset and Berkshire are at East Grinstead CC
Kent, Surrey and Notts are at Polo Farm Sports Club
How the drama unfolded
At the start of the day it was Yorkshire and Kent who were in the driving seat with five wins out of six under their belts, one win ahead of Sussex and Middlesex, but by 1.30pm the situation had altered dramatically.
Yorkshire (86 all out) had lost to Ireland (87/3) by 7 wickets; Kent (56 all out) had lost to Notts (136/4) by 80 runs (Jenny Gunn 51* and 5/3); and Sussex (95/9) had beaten Berks (92/7) by three runs ( Freya Davies 4/19).
All three teams were now level on points.
By 4.30pm Middlesex (92/5) (playing their first game of the day) had joined them there after beating Ireland (68 all out) by 24 runs.
All four teams were now level on points.
And all four teams were playing in the last games of the day and the last games of the tournament:-
Kent were playing Surrey
Sussex were taking on Somerset
and Yorkshire and Middlesex were taking on each other
Kent completed a solid win over Surrey after racking up 146/0 (including 104* for Tammy Beaumont) and restricting them to 115 all out. They moved on to 24 points
Sussex had allowed Somerset to rack up 127/8 (despite Holly Colvin's 4/10), but then managed to chase this score down reaching 130/4 in 18 overs thanks to 60 from Georgia Adams. They too moved on to 24 points.
It was now a question of who would win out of Yorkshire and Middlesex and thereby join Kent and Sussex equal on points at the top of the league.
If Yorkshire won then it would come down to a NRR calculation as each team had lost one game to one of the other two. If Middlesex won Kent would be champions as they had beaten both Middlesex and Sussex in the group matches.
Yorkshire batted first and made 116/4 (Alex Macdonald 52*). Middlesex started off strong in reply and were 29/0 after three overs, but at the start of the fourth over they lost Tash Miles, and then in the sixth Sophia Dunkley, to be pegged back to 35/2. By the half-way stage Fran Wilson (29) and Cath Dalton (6) had taken Middlesex to 54/2. They needed 63 off the last 10 overs. In the 13th over they lost Dalton, quickly followed by Wilson and Dattani in the 15th over. At 73/5 Yorkshire seemed to have the game under control, but Beth Morgan (25*) and Izzy Westbury (21*) made one final charge for Middlesex. They got it down to 19 off the last two overs and then 10 off the last one, and then four off the last ball. But they could only manage one, leaving Yorkshire victors by 2 runs.
As the NRR calculation needed all the group match scores for all three teams no definitive calculations could be made until all the results went up on the Play Cricket website, which did not happen until 5pm today. It showed that Sussex had won by 0.05NRR (see final table here) from Yorkshire, with Kent third.
At the bottom of the table Notts pulled off a magnificent Houdini act securing wins against Kent and Surrey to lift themselves out of the second relegation place. Two further defeats for bottom club Surrey consigned them to Div 2 T20 cricket next year, where they will be joined by Somerset, who gave themselves a chance of escaping the drop by convincingly beating Berkshire by 47 runs, but then lost to Sussex as they charged for the title.
Derbyshire, Cheshire and Warwickshire are at Denby CC
Essex, Wales and the Netherlands are at Billericay CC
Durham, Staffs and Lancashire are at Durham City CC
In Division Two Lancashire won both their games against Durham and Staffs to remain unbeaten and ensure promotion to Div 1 next year as Division Two champions. They will be accompanied by Warwickshire who also won both their games to finish clear in second place ahead of Essex. Two defeats for Staffs and the Netherlands ruined their chances of promotion, and Durham's win over Staffs was enough to consign Derbyshire and Cheshire to Div 3 T20 cricket next year.