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Opening one-day woe for Yorkshrie
Yorkshire’s hopes of building on the momentum of their maiden County Championship victory of the summer were halted by a comfortable defeat to Kent in their opening one-day match of the season.
Last season’s CB40 campaign was largely forgettable with Yorkshire finishing second bottom in their group below the Netherlands, who beat them twice, but under new coach Jason Gillespie there were hopes of a resurgence this summer.
Despite the boost in confidence gained from Saturday’s innings victory over Leicestershire at Scarborough, Yorkshire were effectively out of the contest within six overs of winning the toss and deciding to bat after slipping to 22-4.
All-rounder Matt Coles impressed with a career-best 6-32 and, despite a 70-run fifth-wicket stand between captain Andrew Gale and Joe Root, Yorkshire were only able to struggle to a modest 175-9.
On a good batting wicket, it was clearly not a competitive target and Kent underlined that by securing their four-wicket victory with four balls remaining.
Former Durham seamer Mark Davies set the tone for Yorkshire’s innings by conceding only 17 runs from his eight overs and sparked the early collapse by having Joe Sayers caught at slip in the third over.
While Davies maintained a tight line and length, Coles reaped the benefits from the other end, bowling Phil Jaques and taking a superb one-handed return catch to remove Jonny Bairstow.
Kent were also fortunate with some of the umpiring decisions with Gary Ballance suffering a first ball duck with Peter Willey upholding an lbw appeal when television replays suggested the ball would have bounced over the stumps.
They also benefited from an equally contentious umpiring decision with David Millns raising his finger after an appeal from all-rounder Darren Stevens for lbw against Gale. The Yorkshire captain, who hit four fours and a six in his 44, walked off bemused after getting an inside edge onto his pad.
Adil Rashid holed out to long off after hitting 32 off as many balls, but it was not a total that was likely to challenge Kent’s strong batting line-up.
Azeem Rafiq claimed 3-22 in his eight overs to at least pose questions of Kent, who slipped to 94-3, before Stevens hit 59 off 51 balls.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire completed the formalities against Leicestershire at Scarborough on Saturday to get their division two campaign up and running.
After three successive draws, Jason Gillespie described the innings and 22-run success, which yielded 23 points, as “job done”.
Yorkshire’s first innings victory in two years and only their fourth Championship win since the latter stages of 2010 was completed just before tea on the final day.
Resuming day four on 102-3 in their second innings, Leicester were bowled out for 309 as Steve Patterson finished with second innings figures of 5-77 from 25.2 overs, contributing to career-best match figures of 8-94.
The result, which moves Yorkshire up to third in the division and only nine points behind Derbyshire, stands them in good stead for Wednesday’s trip to Bristol to face Gloucestershire.