McGrath earns Yorkshire home semi-final
Yorkshire 207 for 6 beat Northamptonshire 204 for 8
A half-century by Anthony McGrath guided Yorkshire into the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40 with a four-wicket win over the Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
Rob White top-scored for the Steelbacks with 61 off 68 balls as they struggled in posting 204 for eight off their 40 overs, with Tim Bresnan claiming figures of 3 for 40. Yorkshire then recovered for a poor start and McGrath hammered 70 off 82 balls as they ensured victory with nine balls to spare, despite Jack Brooks taking 3 for 41.
Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat in the sunshine and started brightly with Rob Newton reaching 35 before he was trapped lbw by 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. Northamptonshire continued to limp along when their captain Andrew Hall saw his off stump clipped by Bresnan's yorker.
White then 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 him 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 the bowling of Brooks, making just 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 on 10 for 2.
Jacques Rudolph reaching a half-century off 72 balls, but he was to depart on 54 in the 24th over when he was caught behind by Murphy off young spinner Tom Brett to break up a partnership with McGrath worth 90.
Yorkshire wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy (26) threw his wicket away by smashing Brooks to Hall at short midwicket. McGrath hung around to complete his half-century in 68 balls and Bairstow hammered 25 off 19 balls before launching Lee Daggett to Wakely at long-on.
McGrath finally went when Hall's delivery went under his bat and on to his off stump, before Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad, unbeaten on four and nine respectively, guided their side home.