Essex tailenders Aron Nijjar and Shane Snater stole the show on another captivating day of One-Day Cup cricket as they combined to earn a last-ball two-wicket win over Gloucestershire.
After coming together with their team in peril on 153-8, the ninth-wicket pair put on a unbroken 54 in 38 balls.
That took Essex top of Group Two ahead of Lancashire, who lost in the final over to Middlesex at Old Trafford.
In Group One, Surrey lost to Glamorgan while Yorkshire beat Warwickshire.
Glamorgan are the new Group One leaders thanks to their comfortable five-wicket win over previously unbeaten Surrey in just 26.5 overs.
Yorkshire’s 39-run win over the Bears took a bit longer to complete.
But the other game to go to the last over was at Old Trafford, where Lancashire also suffered a first defeat.
With England Test opener Keaton Jennings on crutches and unable to bat after being forced to retire hurt with a leg injury on 42, the hosts rallied from 190-6, chasing Middlesex’s total of 257, but lost in the end by six runs as they were bowled out for 251.
Essex go top
Essex’s Zimbabwean seamer Snater had a great day in Bristol as he took four wickets, then hit the winning runs to beat Gloucestershire.
Snater took 4-48 as the hosts were bowled out in the last of their 50 overs for 204, having recovered from 73-5 thanks to a 99-run stand between in-form George Scott (64) and Jack Taylor (62).
Essex then looked cooked when captain Tom Westley was run out for 71 by Matt Taylor in the 44th over.
But Nijjar (32) and Snater (21) had other ideas, keeping their cool to get the job done off the final ball from Jared Warner when Snater found the unguarded third man boundary.
Lancs knocked off the top
In the day’s other cracking finish, in Manchester, Middlesex just held their nerve to get home against previously unbeaten Lancashire.
Middlesex made 257, thanks largely to Sam Robson (76), Stevie Eskinazi (45) and 42 from Martin Andersson, who helped add 67 for the last two wickets in less 10 overs with Thilan Wallalawita and Ethan Bamber.
Despite having the injured Jennings helped off, it looked like Rob Jones and Steven Croft might see the hosts home – but a great catch to get rid of Croft for 41 by Middlesex youngster Josh de Caires was then followed by another when he held on to a steepler to remove Jones for a List A best 72.
It came on his first trip to Old Trafford, the ground once graced by his father, former Lancashire and England captain Michael Atherton.
Middlesex then had to withstand a late assault from Danny Lamb, whose 21-ball 33 looked a likely matchwinner until he was bowled by Bamber to end it off the second ball of the last over.
Surrey’s first defeat
Glamorgan’s win over Surrey was comfortably the first game to finish as the hosts triumphed in Cardiff by five wickets with almost half their overs unused.
Surrey won the toss, chose to bat and that was about the last thing that went right for the visitors.
Mark Stoneman nicked Michael Hogan’s first ball of the game to second slip – and Surrey simply did not recover, bowled out for 132.
Spinner Andrew Salter took career-best List A figures of 3-37, but admitted: “It was one of those days where Michael Hogan [a miserly 1-18 off his full 10 overs] and Lukas Carey [2-28] set the tone.
“They bowled great up top and that gave me the foundation to come on and put on some pressure.”
Hamish Rutherford then hit 58 from 52 balls as Surrey’s first loss came at the expense of Glamorgan’s third win in five matches.
Tykes win to climb above Bears
Yorkshire kept their hopes alive by beating Warwickshire in the first List A fixture to be held at Clifton Park, York.
After slipping to 0-2 from George Garrett’s first four balls, the hosts rallied to 320-7 with half-centuries from Jonny Tattersall (70), George Hill (64) and captain Gary Ballance (54), rounded off by Matthew Waite’s three fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 42 off 16 balls.
Waite then claimed two new-ball wickets before the spirited Bears recovered from 134-5 to take the contest to the 48th over.
Youngsters Jacob Bethell (66) and Dan Mousley (61) shared a stand of 115 before being bowled out for 281 to lose by 39 runs – the Bears’ third defeat in five games.