Leicestershire 154 for 5 (Lilley 49) beat Lancashire 132 for 5 (Davies 52, Ackermann 3-18) by 22 runs
A captain's performance with the ball by Leicestershire Foxes' Colin Ackermann ensured that his side completed their Vitality Blast North Group games on a high note as they defeated Lancashire Lightning by 22 runs at Emirates Old Trafford, taking them into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2017.
Ackermann took 3 for 18, all his wickets being taken in the same over, as the home side managed only 132 for 5 in reply to the Foxes' 154 for 5, an effort that had included valuable forties from both Nick Welch and Arron Lilley.
The main features of Leicestershire's six Powerplay overs were the two sixes pulled to the long boundary by Welch off Saqib Mahmood and the three tight overs bowled by Luke Wood, who conceded just five runs in that exceptional spell.
Wood also took the wicket of Gareth Delany in the opening exchanges when the dangerous Irish batsman gloved an attempted pull to wicketkeeper Alex Davies but Welch hit further sixes off Liam Livingstone and Matt Parkinson, both strokes sailing over long-on, before he was caught for 43 at deep midwicket, Josh Bohannon taking a steepling catch off Livingstone.
Lancashire's three spinners kept the scoring rate in check for much of the remainder of the Foxes innings and the visitors were indebted to Lilley's 41-ball 49 for making sure they posted a defendable total on a used pitch. Ackermann was run out by Davies' direct hit for 29, although a much-needed further boost came when Leicestershire scored 18 runs off Saqib Mahmood's last over of the innings, a nine-ball affair that included a wide and two no-balls.
Four Lancashire bowlers took a wicket but Wood was not called upon to deliver his final over. Tom Hartley bowled impressively again, conceding only 18 runs from his three overs.
The home side's innings began no more impressively than Leicestershire's had. Livingstone hit a couple of sixes off Callum Parkinson but was caught for 20 by Ackermann off Gavin Griffiths at mid-off to leave Lancashire on 38 for one at the end of the Powerplay.
Lightning had lost no more wickets but still needed 87 when the final ten overs of their innings began, a requirement which Davies and Steven Croft immediately sought to meet. Nevertheless steady accumulation was all the pair could manage and 52 runs were still required off the final six overs of the innings.
The 16th over transformed the game as Ackermann took three wickets. Croft was caught at deep backward square leg by Dieter Klein for 36 off the second ball, Davies was caught behind by Lewis Hill for a 48-ball 52 off the third and Bohannon was bowled for nought by the fifth.
Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas was caught at cover by Ackermann off Klein, also without scoring, off the second ball of the next over and Lancashire suddenly needed 40 off 18 balls. This proved far beyond the home side's later batsmen and the match ended almost in anti-climax with the outcome never seriously in doubt.
The start of Lancashire's reply was delayed when the Emirates Old Trafford groundstaff used the heavy roller on the wicket between innings. This is contrary to the regulations governing these games and umpires Steve O'Shaughnessy and James Middlebrook had to inform the ECB before the game could continue.
Vitality Blast quarter-finals:
Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire
Surrey v Kent
Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire
Sussex v Lancashire
All fixtures to be played on October 1