McGrath keeps his cool
Anthony McGrath’s half-century put Yorkshire into the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40, courtesy of a four-wicket win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Rob White top-scored for the Steelbacks with a 68-ball 61 as they struggled to 204 for eight, with Tim Bresnan claiming 3-40.
Yorkshire recovered from a poor start and McGrath hammered 70 off 82 balls as they ensured victory with nine balls to spare, despite Jack Brooks’ 3-41.
Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat in the sunshine and started brightly with Rob Newton reaching 35 before he was lbw to Steven Patterson in the eighth over.
Eighteen-year-old debutant Robert Keogh went cheaply for 11 when he smashed Patterson straight to McGrath at mid-off.
Alex Wakely followed suit by sweeping Adil Rashid to the same man, who this time was standing at fine-leg, and David Sales, having scored 29, was pinned lbw by Rich Pyrah.
Northants continued to limp along before captain Andrew Hall saw his off stump clipped by Tim Bresnan’s yorker.
White reached his half-century off 60 balls, including one six pulled over square-leg, but he eventually holed out when he launched Pyrah to Jonathan Bairstow at deep cover.
James Middlebrook was bowled by Bresnan and Brooks smashed the England all-rounder to Pyrah at deep extra-cover in the penultimate over.
Chasing 205, Yorkshire got off to a terrible start when their captain, Andrew Gale was superbly caught at deep midwicket by Keogh off Brooks for seven.
Brooks struck again in his next over when Adam Lyth, who faced eight balls without scoring, edged to wicketkeeper David Murphy to leave the visitors 10 for two.
Jacques Rudolph, who went to a 72-ball half-century, departed for 54 when he was caught behind by Murphy off young spinner Tom Brett, breaking up a 90-run partnership with McGrath.
Wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy hit 26 before throwing his wicket away, hitting a Brooks full toss to Hall at short midwicket.
McGrath hung around to complete his 68-ball half-century and Bairstow hammered 25 before launching Lee Daggett to Wakely at long-on.
McGrath finally went when Hall’s yorker snuck under his bat and uprooted off stump, but Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad, who finished unbeaten on four and nine respectively, guided Yorkshire home.