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Rudolph reigns over Middlesex

Jacques Rudolph

Jacques Rudolph's unbeaten 124 - his third century of the CB40 campaign - set Yorkshire on their way at Scarborough

Jacques Rudolph continued his phenomenal Clydesdale Bank 40 form as Yorkshire extended their lead at the top of Group B with a five-run win over Middlesex in front of a packed 6,500 crowd at Scarborough.

The prolific left-handed opener went into the game as the competition's leading scorer with 518 runs at an average of 85.50, and he registered his third century of the season en route to an unbeaten 124 off 108 balls.

His highly-polished innings guided Yorkshire to 250 for six and put them on track for their ninth win in 10 games with just two group matches still to play, although Middlesex made a valiant attempt in finishing on 245 for eight.

Yorkshire all-rounder Richard Pyrah was presented with his first-team cap by captain Andrew Gale shortly before the match began, but Ajmal Shahzad had to pull out because of a recurrence of the ankle injury which kept him out of the England squad.

Tim Bresnan, who has been included in the England party for the final npower Test against Pakistan, took Shahzad’s place in the side.

Winning the toss, Yorkshire were given a good start by Gale, who made 36 out of 50 inside eight overs before Toby Roland-Jones claimed the first of three wickets when Gale skied to Tom Scollay at deep square-leg.

Adam Lyth did not last long on his home ground but Anthony McGrath then joined Rudolph - dropped by wicketkeeper John Simpson when on 10 - in a third-wicket partnership which yielded 138 in 23 overs.

The stand was ended by Tim Murtagh, who also grabbed three wickets, McGrath falling to a catch on the rope by Dawid Malan. He made 68 off 75 balls and hit six fours.

Middlesex checked the scoring for a while as three wickets went down in as many overs in the third powerplay, but Rudolph glided to his century from 98 balls, with nine fours, and remained firmly in control.

Opener Scott Newman kept Middlesex in the hunt with a powerful 77 from 70 balls, which contained five fours and three sixes, and he and John Simpson had put on 47 for the first wicket in nine overs when Simpson fell lbw to Adil Rashid's first ball.

Newman and Owais Shah then added 54 together before McGrath too picked up a wicket with his first ball by knocking back Shah's stumps, and when Malan was bowled attempting to reverse-sweep Rashid Middlesex were 135 for three.

Two runs later Bresnan yorked Newman and Middlesex stumbled until Neil Dexter was joined by Roland-Jones in a last-gasp ninth-wicket stand which added 51 from 37 balls, Dexter reaching his half-century from 39 deliveries with six fours.

McGrath was recalled to bowl the last over with 13 required, and duly denied Middlesex the boundaries they needed.