Surrey consign Yorkshire to first defeat
Out with Dr Jekyll, in with Mr Hyde. Yorkshire, so superb in the Championship against Warwickshire during the week, were badly let down by their specialist batsmen against Surrey, and plunged to their first defeat of the Pro40 by five wickets.
Indeed, they were fortunate not to lose by a much greater margin, as Surrey let them off the hook. Yorkshire batted in fine weather on a pitch that offered some seam movement. But they rarely looked likely to prosper, from the moment Jacques Rudolph, 220 on Thursday, fell for 2.
Apart from Rudolph, the top-order all got starts, but failed to capitalise. Inzamam-ul-Haq hit two powerful boundaries but was lbw for 9 to a high-quality off-cutter from Chris Jordan. Full credit should go to the Surrey seamers, with Mohammad Akram and Jordan moving the ball in dangerously to the right-handers and taking three wickets each.
With Yorkshire 58 for 8 and a long way short of their lowest-ever National League total against Surrey of 91, also at Scarborough in 1970, the visitors eased off. It seemed to be the usual limited-overs theory of hedging bets, keeping death bowlers for the end, however well they are doing. On came the spinners, and Darren Gough flourished.
While David Wainwright gave him sound support, Gough showed good strokes and fine judgement, twice sweeping Chris Schofield for six. The pair put on 72, and Gough was unlucky to be left stranded on 49 when Matthew Hoggard unwisely tried to cut a ball too close to him and was bowled, to close the innings at 145.
Surrey's target scarcely bothered them, particularly as Scott Newman and James Benning gave them a cracking start at ten an over. Gough's innings had aggravated a sore calf, and he left the field after bowling two overs for 16 runs.
His innings was the highest of the match, though. Newman (30), Benning (37) and Mark Butcher (34) all failed to take full advantage, but they did enough to see their team home. Wainwright, who had a useful match with two wickets to add to his valuable 26, and Richard Pyrah kept the run-rate within reasonable bounds.
Yorkshire still top the table, though, with Middlesex second following their victory against Kent at Lord's. Kent were always in some trouble, although only chasing 187, and they slipped to 151 all out, despite Rob Key's 72, easily the highest score of the match.
Durham maintained their title chase against Leicestershire at Chester-le-Street, Phil Mustard's good form continuing with 78 to set up the six-wicket victory. Gordon Muchall's unbeaten 41 saw them chase down the target of 216 with nearly ten overs remaining.
Nottinghamshire gained ground in the top division, with a convincing victory against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge. Fifties for three of the top four helped Nottinghamshire pile up 270 and Gloucestershire crashed to 154. It was a good day for Graeme Swann, who struck a fifty and took 5 for 17 from his eight overs.
Danish Kaneria had Sussex in a spin, his five wickets helping Essex hold their nerve at Colchester, defending 177. Sussex slipped away to 151.