Malan upstages Morgan's comeback
Middlesex 237 for 4 (Malan 96, Rossington 79*) beat Yorkshire 236 for 8 (Jaques 81, Roland-Jones 4-44) by six wickets
Dawid Malan hit splendid 96 off 88 balls to revive his own dismal form and keep Middlesex's hopes alive in the Yorkshire Bank 40 as Eoin Morgan made a golden duck on his return to county cricket in a six-wicket win over Yorkshire at Radlett.
Yorkshire's third defeat in four games, which probably ended their hopes of achieving the knockout stage, featured a pugnacious 81 from Phil Jaques but cheap top-order wickets left the total well short of daunting on a sound pitch and slick cambered outfield.
Thanks to Malan and wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, with his first one-day half-century, Middlesex passed Yorkshire's total of 236 with more than four overs to spare. Their fourth-wicket stand of 135 at more than seven runs an over destroyed the Yorkshire back-up bowling.
Defeat for Middlesex would have ended any chance of success in this year's competition after two defeats in their two earlier games. So it was an exciting way to mark a first competitive appearance at their new training base in Hertfordshire, on Watling Street a few miles north of London.
Yorkshire owed much to Jaques's 86-ball knock and a late flurry from Adil Rashid, who made 46 not out from 36 balls, but Malan's fierce driving put the home side in charge after a shaky start.
Malan had endured a barren season in the County Championship, averaging 14.25 in eight innings, and had made little impact on the one-day format until his exhuberant strokeplay at Radlett.
Middlesex started shakily in their pursuit of victory as Iain Wardlaw unsettled Paul Stirling with a slow looping full toss with the first ball of the innings and then blasted out off and middle stumps with the second ball.
Joe Denly followed after a breezy 38, bowled pushing forward to Richard Pyrah, and then came what might have been the defining moment - the dismissal of Eoin Morgan first ball.
Morgan, Middlesex's most potent threat, had returned fresh from the Indian Premier League and a recent glut of exotic locations and flamboyant shots must have affected his judgement because he tried an instant reverse sweep to leg-spinner Rashid and was given out lbw.
Morgan claimed afterwards that he had made contact with the bat but an orthodox stroke should have sufficed with less risk.
His blunder seemed to swing the pendulum towards Yorkshire, but fortunately Malan and Rossington seized the initiative with sensible aggression, keeping the percentages firmly in their favour.
Malan snicked Tim Bresnan just short of a well-deserved century with the match all but won but Rossington, a heavy scorer on this ground in Middlesex second-team games, continued in style and finished undefeated with 79 off 72 balls.