Shahzad lays foundations for Rudolph
Ajmal Shahzad marked his inclusion in the England Test squad with a four-wicket haul and Jacques Rudolph hit a splendid unbeaten 86 as Yorkshire maintained their 100% record in the Clydesdale Bank 40 with victory over Middlesex.
Shahzad, who was this morning named in the 12-man squad to face Pakistan in the first npower Test beginning on Thursday, took 4-34 to set up a crushing eight-wicket win at Lord’s.
He and Rudolph were central to Yorkshire recording a fifth straight success in the competition, keeping them top of Group B.
Middlesex, who won the toss and elected to bat, were never really in the game after losing three wickets in the opening nine overs, and they mustered just 183 for nine.
The initial breakthrough came from only the eighth ball when Shahzad enticed Scott Newman to edge an attempted drive and wicketkeeper Jonathan Bairstow claimed a simple catch.
Neil Dexter was the next to go when, after hitting five fours in a promising 25, he tried to lift Tim Bresnan over the top but found only Steve Patterson at mid-on.
Bresnan, omitted from the England Test squad when it was announced earlier today, then removed Owais Shah, who was caught behind hooking.
With Middlesex struggling on 38 for three, Dawid Malan and Gareth Berg stabilised the innings by adding 61 in 15.4 overs before Malan, on 28, flicked a flighted delivery from David Wainwright to Richard Pyrah.
Wickets fell on a regular basis thereafter with Bairstow collecting a third catch as John Simpson edged Adil Rashid behind.
A poorly-executed sweep saw Berg top-edge Wainwright to Andrew Gale before Tom Scollay, who hit a useful 32 from 18 deliveries, was bowled by Shahzad. He then claimed the wickets of Tom Smith and Shaun Udal in the final over.
Yorkshire enjoyed a fine start with Gale and Rudolph helping them to 50 inside 11 overs.
The century stand arrived 10 overs later before Middlesex finally made a breakthrough when Gale was stumped by Simpson to give Australian Scollay his first wicket in English domestic cricket.
Adam Lyth offered a return catch to Pedro Collins to depart for 34 but Rudolph pushed on to see Yorkshire home with three overs to spare.