Gale hundred sets victory platform
Yorkshire 254 for 7 beat Kent 161 by 93 runs
Andrew Gale hit a century as Yorkshire got off the mark in Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A with a resounding 93-run victory over Kent in Canterbury. Gale's superb 112 from 114 balls proved the mainstay of his side's excellent total of 254 for 7.
After a flying start Gale went on to lay great foundations for a big total with an innings that included 11 fours and two sixes that left the Spitfires with a mountain to climb. I In reply, the hosts could only muster 161 as Adil Rashid picked up 3 for 30.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Yorkshire had 73 on the board after 10 overs. Jonny Bairstow set the visitors on their way with a quickfire 26, which included a pulled six off a free-hit from Azhar Mahmood.
Adam Ball struck twice in as many deliveries either side of a maiden from Mahmood. The fifth over ended with Darren Stevens pulling off a spectacular catch to see the back of Bairstow then Adam Lyth was caught behind first ball to make it 40 for 2.
Gale and Joe Root's third-wicket partnership of 124 in 21 overs set a platform that allowed Yorkshire's middle order to throw the bat. Gale deposited a Matt Coles free-hit over mid-wicket for six then the Yorkshire captain clubbed James Tredwell's second delivery of the day back over the bowler's head for another maximum. He brought his fifty up, off 61 balls, with a four straight down the ground off Stevens in the 19th over.
Gale went on to score his second hundred in one-day cricket, which came off 105 balls, when he pulled Coles to the straight mid-wicket boundary although though not before an ill-judged reverse sweep ended Root's responsible innings of 43.
Had they not lost four wickets in the closing overs and Rich Pyrah, who retired hurt after being struck on the right knee by Coles, Yorkshire could have put the game totally beyond Kent's reach. After Gerard Brophy fell leg before for 28 and Tim Bresnan was bowled trying to lift Coles over mid-on, Gale eventually perished attempting a third run to Ball at deep square leg.
Needing 255, Kent were soon in trouble, losing Sam Northeast and Martin van Jaarsveld to successive deliveries in the third over. Northeast went caught behind and van Jaarsveld handed Ryan Sidebottom a second scalp when he cut the former England fast bowler high to third man.
Seven overs later, Rob Key looped a catch to mid-wicket. Alex Blake was the next to go, caught behind reaching for a ball from Rashid. Shortly after sweeping David Wainwright for six, Stevens charged Rashid and was bowled for 39 to leave the Spitfires on 101 for 5.
Two balls after Kent took the batting powerplay, Bresnan sent Geraint Jones' off stump cartwheeling. In the very next over, the hosts' fading hopes of victory expired with the departure of Mahmood, who holed out to deep midwicket.