|Vitality Blast, Edgbaston|
|Birmingham Bears 167-7 (20 overs): Hain 52; Cook 2-24|
|Essex 171-8 (19.5 overs): Lawrence 62, Drakes 2-26|
Dan Lawrence returned from England duty to hit an excellent half-century as Essex crept past Birmingham Bears by two wickets to make T20 Finals Day for the sixth time.
The 2019 winners return to Edgbaston on 15 July for their third Finals Day in Birmingham, to be joined by the three winners of Friday’s other quarter-finals.
But it was another disappointing night for the Bears as they went out of the competition at the last-eight stage for the ninth time in 12 attempts.
The Bears’ hopes were ended in the quarter-finals a year ago by Hampshire when they were bowled out for 82 and lost by a record 104 runs.
But, although they lost on home soil in the quarter-finals for the second year running, this one was a lot closer.
Although the Bears total of 167-7 looked to be not quite enough,…