Yorkshire profit from efficiency

Middlesex 199-9 Yorkshire 200-3 Yorkshire win by 7 wickets
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The Independent Online
Even Yorkshiremen, who are naturally rather a cagey lot, are beginning to realise that David Byas's side has an excellent chance of putting them back at the top of English cricket. There was an efficiency and conviction about this second-round victory over Middlesex in the NatWest Trophy which perhaps only Warwickshire have equalled in recent years.

The match was effectively won in the first 31 overs of the day after Middlesex had decided to bat on a pitch which allowed some movement off the seam, but not enough to account for a score of 77 for 4 in this time. Even Paul Weekes's outstanding 104 could not compensate for that start.

Superb bowling, first by Chris Silverwood and Darren Gough and then the two support seamers, Peter Hartley and Craig White, stifled the Middlesex innings. They bowled an excellent line and length, giving nothing away.

In the second over, Mark Ramprakash was lbw playing back to one which Silverwood cut into him. For the next 20 overs, Weekes and Mike Gatting were only able to defend anxiously and scamper the odd single. The score had reached 50 in the 22nd over when White threw out Gatting from square- leg after he had made six.

John Carr soon drove Richard Stemp low to short extra cover and in the 31st over, Jason Pooley played back to a ball from Hartley which kept low and was bowled. Stemp's 1 for 33 in 12 overs of left-arm spin was watched by Raymond Illingworth, England's chairman of selectors.

In the early part of the innings, Weekes had most of the strike and he did not waste the few chances that came his way, driving and pulling with good timing. His 50 came from 131 balls, and although he later had useful support from Keith Brown, the innings was by then too seriously compromised. Weekes was ninth out in the last over, having faced 214 balls and hit 12 fours.

Yorkshire had a mild hiccup when Angus Fraser and Richard Johnson removed both openers for 32. Byas was then joined by Michael Bevan and profited from his example. They put on 91 with some ease in 17 overs before Bevan skied a pull and Anthony McGrath then helped Byas steer Yorkshire home with 16 overs to spare.

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