Cricket: Reward is a visit to Sussex

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LANCASHIRE, whose elimination from the Benson and Hedges Cup at The Oval on Tuesday looked so cut and dried at one time that they actually received the winners' cheque with Surrey's name scratched out on it, may not, under the circumstances, be too disappointed at having to travel south again for the quarter-finals on 25 May.

Surrey's failure to score 238 to beat Lancashire after being 212 for 1 with six overs to go will go down as one of one-day cricket's more memorable cock-ups, but Lancashire's reward for declining to throw in the towel is a trip to Hove to play Sussex, the only one of the eight remaining sides never to have won this competition.

The holders, Hampshire, entertain Northamptonshire, which means a hotel room for most of the opposition, and the guest room at David Gower's for his old chum Allan Lamb. Given the importance of the game, however, the Gower wine cellar ought, for once, to get away relatively unscathed.

Leicestershire, who last won this competition when Gower was in charge in 1985, squeezed through on Tuesday, after a tie against Warwickshire, on the fewer-wickets-lost rule, and they get another home draw against Worcestershire.

Somerset were also involved in a last-ball finish against Nottinghamshire, although with the winning hit coming from Adrianus Pelrus van Troost, it was not quite a case of local boy makes good. If he does it again against Derbyshire in the next round, I'm a Dutchman as well.

BENSON AND HEDGES CUP Quarter-final draw: Leicestershire v Worcestershire; Hampshire v Northamptonshire; Sussex v Lancashire; Somerset v Derbyshire. Matches to be played Tuesday 25 May.

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