Tonight sees the last two quarter-final matches in the Friends Life T20 competition. Yorkshire Carnegie host the Worcestershire Royals followed by the Nottinghamshire Outlaws welcoming the Hampshire Royals to Trent Bridge.
There should be plenty of international stars on show again tonight, as the four counties look to book a place at the highlight of the county season. Whatever the result, there will be one county making its first appearance at finals day as neither Yorkshire or Worcestershire have reached the big stage before.
Yorkshire will be hoping their two Australian players Mitchell Starc and Phil Jaques will be on song tonight, with local star Jonny Bairstow expected to perform. Young fast bowler Starc, at the start of a promising international career, is proving a key player for the Jason Gillespie coached outfit, whilst the experience of former international batsman Phil Jaques has been important to the success this season. Bairstow, who has started to make an impression on the England set-up, has been a consistent run-scorer in recent seasons and he will hope to provide some fireworks with the bat for the home faithful.
The Royals on the other hand, will be looking to their key batsmen Vikram Solanki and Phil Hughes to propel them victory. Unorthodox Australian Hughes, is particularly strong in the shorter format of the game, where as the experienced Solanki will be hoping to take his county to their first T20 finals day and finish on a high after it was announced recently that this would be his last season at the club before he heads to Surrey.
The second quarter-final at Trent Bridge could be the toughest of the four quarter-finals to predict. Nottinghamshire Outlaws will be hoping World T20 winner Michael Lumb, England Lion star James Taylor, and England one-day player Samit Patel will be able to score enough runs to guide the hosts to victory. Patel's left arm spin and the medium pace of overseas hero Andre Adams will also be key to the Outlaws' cause.
For the Hampshire Royals, Australian Simon Katich will be key with the bat, as will former South African stalwart Neil McKenzie. Dimi Mascarenhas will be dangerous with both bat and ball and his big-hitting could be called upon to make the difference in this contest.
So with a plethora of quality players on show it could come down to experience and the calm heads. Again the home draw could prove the difference between the sides and Sportsvibe predicts that Yorkshire Carnegie will reach their first T20 finals day and the Nottinghamshire Outlaws will prove too strong for the Hampshire Royals.