Shahzad unable to save Yorkshire
Kent 232 for 8 beat Yorkshire 230 for 7 by two wickets
Ajmal Shahzad was the hero turned villain who just failed to redeem himself as Yorkshire lost to Kent by two wickets with two balls remaining in the Clydesdale Bank 40 League match at Headingley.
Shahzad first of all boosted Yorkshire with a fiercely struck 59 not out to help his side recover to 230 for 7, but then when Kent were struggling on 175 for 5 in 32 overs he came back into the attack and was hammered for five consecutive fours by Martin van Jaarsveld before bowling him for 74 off 65 deliveries with 10 fours.
Despite this onslaught, which followed a cleanly struck 47 from Matt Coles, Yorkshire kept their heads and Shahzad was called upon to bowl the final over with just four needed and his first ball was scooped to Andrew Gale at cover by dangerman, Geraint Jones, who had made a disciplined 39.
Shahzad's next two deliveries yielded only a single but he was then thumped to the midwicket boundary by Ashley Shaw to leave Yorkshire with just one victory from their four Group A matches.
Yorkshire were without England all-rounder Tim Bresnan, who is receiving treatment for a sore calf muscle, and Gerard Brophy, who is recovering from a bruised and swollen right thumb. Director of professional cricket, Martyn Moxon, said that at this stage there had to be a doubt about both of them for the Roses match which starts at Liverpool on Wednesday.
Apart from van Jaarsveld's assault on Shahzad, Kent never really got on top of the Yorkshire attack, Steve Patterson leading the way with 3 for 45.
Put into bat, Yorkshire's innings was given much-needed impetus by Shahzad, who lashed out to good effect as he and David Wainwright rattled up 33 from the last 10 deliveries, Shahzad's 59 coming off 34 balls with eight fours and three sixes to give him his highest one-day score.
Shahzad smashed consecutive sixes over midwicket off JamesTredwell and in the final over from Coles he skied a ball towards square leg. Jones raced to get underneath the towering hit but dropped it and the batsman responded with two fours and a big six over cover.
The late flourish helped Shahzad atone for being equally to blame in bringing Gary Ballance's innings of 47 to a sudden and violent end a few overs earlier.
Ballance played Coles out to deep point and came through for a second run but the two batsmen crashed into each other just after crossing and Jones whipped off a bail from Sam Northeast's return into his gloves.
Yorkshire's knock began as it ended with a flurry of boundaries, most of them from Gale who struck 34 with six fours before Azhar Mahmood gained his revenge for some harsh treatment by bowling him with the score on 48 in the seventh over.
Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root were both bowled by Darren Stevens but Adam Lyth and Ballance put on 68 together for the fourth wicket after Ballance had been dropped by van Jaarsveld at slip on 10.
Alex Blake joined the attack at 145 for 3, his first ball being cut by Lyth to Stevens at backward point and his fourth trapping Lee Hodgson lbw. Ballance's run out and the early departure of Rashid left Yorkshire struggling until Shahzad swung the bat.