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Yorkshire beaten by Kent in Clydesdale Bank 40 clash
YORKSHIRE warmed up for t20 Finals Day with a 30-run Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat to title hopefuls Kent at Canterbury tonight as they failed to chase down 227.
Andrew Gale’s side lost their sixth group match after Rob Key’s excellent 109-ball 101, his first List A hundred since 2008, took Kent to 226-5 - although they should have been defending more.
Moin Ashraf was the pick of Yorkshire’s bowlers having struck twice in the 36th over on a slow pitch, getting Key caught at square-leg and bowling Alex Blake with a trademark yorker.
But Kent off-spinner James Tredwell took three key wickets, including Gale for 57 after two others in the 20th over, to keep the game in the balance at 160-6 after 30.1 after the visitors had been well placed at 117-2 before Tredwell’s double midway through the innings.
Yorkshire were finally bowled out for 196 in the 39th over as Matt Coles also added three late wickets with the run-rate spiralling.
After the match, Gale admitted: “It was very hard to get the guys switched on and motivated for this game with Saturday in mind.”
The other disappointment was the news that all-rounder Tim Bresnan has been made unavailable for Finals Day on Saturday by the England management due to a heavy workload.
Bresnan’s unavailability opens the door for Rich Pyrah to come into the side for the semi-final against Sussex, which fellow England player Jonny Bairstow will be available for.
Andy Flower’s decision will come as a surprise to Yorkshire, who have been under the impression since they beat Worcestershire in the quarter-final that their international star would be made available.
Jason Gillespie even named him in a 16-man squad for the trip to Cardiff on Tuesday afternoon.
It is thought that Bresnan’s availability will be reassessed on Friday night after the one-day international against South Africa at the same venue, but a change of heart would leave Yorkshire in a very difficult position having prepared for two days to be without him.
The Yorkshire squad will travel to Bristol tomorrow in order to train at Gloucestershire’s County Ground before heading to their Cardiff base on Friday.
Tonight’s result leaves Kent on course to reach the semi-finals with one match left, although the hosts also let a position of strength slip through their fingers at 111-1 in the 23rd over and 182-2 in the 35th of their innings.
Key shared stands of 70 for the second wicket with Sam Northeast and 71 for the third with Darren Stevens, who made 43 before falling to a brilliant one-handed reflex catch by Pyrah off his own bowling in the latter stages.
In Yorkshire’s innings, Tredwell had Adam Lyth caught at deep mid-wicket, Adil Rashid trapped lbw and Gale stumped to leave Kent as favourites in a match that saw plenty of sketchy batting, including a needless early run out of Phil Jaques.