Warwickshire flying high with Best, Piolet
Steffan Piolet and Paul Best swept Warwickshire to the top of Group C in the Clydesdale Bank 40 with an unexpected three-wicket victory under the Duckworth/Lewis method that dashed Yorkshire’s slim semi-final hopes.
Piolet and Best added 40 in quick time to take Warwickshire to a revised target of 238 in 34 overs with four balls to spare at Edgbaston.
Yorkshire thought they had the match won when Tim Ambrose, who made a bustling 64 from 47 balls, carved Moin Ashraf to short third man in the 31st over. However Piolet, who batted with a runner because of a hamstring injury sustained while bowling, and Best held their nerve.
Piolet turned the match decisively in Warwickshire's favour when he pulled Steve Patterson and Ashraf for sixes in consecutive overs to finish unbeaten on 23 from nine balls.
Best followed up his competition-best bowling of 3-43 with a rapid unbeaten 16, also from nine deliveries, to take Warwickshire above Sussex in Group C.
Yorkshire will wonder how they contrived to lose their fourth 40-over game this season after captain Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth laid the foundations for a competitive total with aggressive innings of 76 and 69 respectively.
The White Rose lost five quick wickets when they returned to face 19 balls after a 65-minute stoppage for rain and Warwickshire's run chase was sustained by a third-wicket stand of 74 in 10 overs between Ambrose and captain Jim Troughton.
Neither man could finish the job; Troughton was bowled driving at Azeem Rafiq and Ambrose fell when victory was in sight. However, Piolet and Best, who have become one-day regulars this season, proved their worth.
Defeat was particularly hard on Lyth, who played a superb attacking knock which featured four maximums in six balls, including three in succession off Chris Wright either side of the rain break.
The second of those sixes took Lyth to a 49-ball half century and he cleared the ropes again off Keith Barker before skying the next ball to midwicket.
Warwickshire's chase was interrupted by some brilliant fielding by South African David Miller, who held two catches, including a superb running effort at deep midwicket to account for Will Porterfield, in addition to being involved in two run-outs.
But Yorkshire's bowling under pressure was not quite so assured, with Warwickshire successfully chasing down 83 from the last 10 overs.