Yorkshire toast Bairstow
A magnificent maiden one-day hundred by Jonny Bairstow led bottom-of-the-table Yorkshire to a 22-run Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Middlesex at Lord’s.
A scintillating late blast by Middlesex allrounder Steven Crook, who hit 61 off 40 balls, took the home side closer than had earlier looked likely but eventually proved in vain.
Middlesex were hopeful of the win they needed to go level on points with Sussex at the top of Group A when Corey Collymore took a wicket with only the fifth ball of the match, Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale edging behind.
But their hopes of reaching the semi-finals took a blow after they were put to the sword by Bairstow.
The wicketkeeper, batting at number three, set Yorkshire on course to a commanding total of 275 with a stylish 114 off just 87 balls. He shared partnerships with two vastly more experienced men in Jacques Rudolph and Anthony McGrath, who made 40 and 63 respectively.
Bairstow’s innings was his second century in under a week, after the 21-year-old hit 109 not out for the Lions against Sri Lanka A at Scarborough last Friday.
The Middlesex attack, led by the expensive Collymore and Tim Murtagh, had little answer to his imperious strokeplay as he raced from 87 to 111 in just five balls with a series of powerfully struck straight drives.
He was eventually bowled trying to swing Middlesex captain Neil Dexter into the Tavern Stand. It was the first time he had passed 50 in a one-day match.
Yorkshire’s other young stars shone brightly with the ball. The spin duo of Adil Rashid, who took 3-43, and David Wainwright, with 1-26, ensured victory with some economical bowling in the middle overs which strangled the Middlesex chase after a breezy start.
Number three Paul Stirling struck a dominant 68 from 47 balls, including 10 fours and one six, but the innings began to falter when his wicket – caught at cover off Wainwright – was followed by that of Dexter – taken at deep square-leg off Rashid – in an eight-over passage that saw Middlesex fall from 124 for three to 160 for seven.
Crook, who earlier took 1-46 in eight overs, and Tom Smith, who hit 27, salvaged a respectable finish for Middlesex and might even have given Yorkshire a late fright.
However, despite some spirited hitting and enterprising running between the wickets, they were unable to take the innings to a 39th over as the Panthers were bowled out for 253.
Middlesex remain second in Group A and could yet qualify for the knockout stage by leapfrogging Sussex or by finishing as the best second-placed team of the three CB40 groups.