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Denly 99 eases Middlesex home

Joe Denly fell a run shy of a century as Middlesex revived their Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final ambitions with a thumping nine-wicket win over the Unicorns at Southend-on-Sea.

The former England opener was left stranded just short of three figures when he thrashed Michael O'Shea to the rope and sealed victory with 12.1 overs to spare.

Dawid Malan, who had hit the previous ball for three, was also unbeaten on 58 as Middlesex coasted past the Unicorns' 170 all out.

Tim Murtagh and Tom Helm did the majority of the damage with ball in hand, grabbing three wickets apiece, with only opener Matt Lineker's 53 giving the Unicorns hope of notching a first win of the campaign.

Devon Endersby removed Paul Stirling in the first over of Middlesex's response to give the hosts belief but, from then on, Denly took over as he hit eight fours and four sixes in his 86 balls.

After Murtagh initially removed Tom Lancefield, Lineker and O'Shea put on 56 for the second wicket.

But when O'Shea was run out by Helm, with the score on 91, a procession of wickets fell to leave the Unicorns short.

Helm removed the middle order on his way to figures of 3-27 from eight overs, while Murtagh returned to prise out the tail and claim 3-35.

Stirling began the chase by crashing Endersby's second ball to the rope but was on his way next up, offering a catch to Luke Beaven.

Denly strode to the crease at four for one, but took control to leave Middlesex two points adrift of Group C leaders Somerset.

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