Kevin Pietersen failed to deliver on his NatWest T20 Blast debut as Surrey succumbed to Essex at The Oval - and others took centre stage elsewhere.
Pietersen holed out at long on for only five off his former England team-mate Ravi Bopara, in Surrey's 151 for six - which featured a half-century from Jason Roy (57) - and Essex then completed the chase with seven balls to spare to take the South Division spoils by five wickets.
Up north, Yorkshire ended Lancashire's winning run in a thrilling Roses match which had something for everyone at Old Trafford.
Even after a wonderful innings of 88 from Aaron Finch in pursuit of 179 for six, it seemed table-toppers Lancashire might send their fans home happy after a night to remember.
But instead, with a dash of controversy after Paul Horton's hosts were docked six crucial runs for their slow over-rate, Yorkshire just got over the line with five wickets and three balls to spare.
A whirlwind half-century from Tom Smith (55) in just 22 balls, and Horton's 60, were therefore in vain.
Worcestershire closed the gap on the Red Rose to two points, thanks to an unbeaten 67 from opener Daryl Mitchell at the top of the order in their five-wicket win over Leicestershire - who set a target of 164 for six at Grace Road.
There was also a five-wicket success for the Nottinghamshire Outlaws, away to neighbours Derbyshire, short-format specialist Alex Hales (63) leading the way with 11 fours and a six from 32 balls in pursuit of 164 for seven.
Marcus North (57) gave the hosts something to bowl at, but Hales made a mockery of a target which was surpassed with more than three overs unused.
At Edgbaston, a half-century from Varun Chopra (51) helped the Bears to a comfortable six-wicket win over Durham Jets in pursuit of 146 for seven.
Middlesex remain the only pointless team in the country, despite an astounding 129 from 57 balls by their Australian all-rounder Dan Christian - who hit 12 fours and 10 sixes against Kent at Canterbury.
The snag was the hosts had already put 208 for four on the board, with half-centuries from Sam Northeast (54) and Alex Blake (58no).
Middlesex's chase was never on course, despite Christian's brilliance, as seamer David Griffiths took the last three wickets in four balls for a career-best four for 22 and Australian Doug Bollinger finished with three for 40.
The Londoners were all out for 192 and therefore remain adrift at the bottom of the South Division, and Kent have narrowed the gap at the top behind Hampshire.
Gloucestershire got themselves up and running with a hard-fought four-run win against Sussex at Hove.
Ian Cockbain's career-best 84 helped them post 189 for six, despite Yasir Arafat's three for 38.
Sussex then fell just short, as Graeme McCarter - with a career-best five for 35 - and Jack Taylor (three for 24) did most of the damage.
Glamorgan opener Jim Allenby smashed an unbeaten 96 from just 59 balls - including nine fours and three sixes - in a seven-run victory at Somerset.
For the Sabres, there was an unbeaten 94 from Peter Trego, with 11 fours and two sixes. But like Christian's, it was an outstanding innings in defeat as Graham Wagg took three for 44 and the hosts finished just short on 169 for four.