Bell spoils party as Yorkshire slip from top of one-day group

Joe Root scored 83 for Yorkshire (Photo: SW Pix)
Joe Root scored 83 for Yorkshire (Photo: SW Pix)
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Bottom-of-the-table Warwickshire turned the Royal London Cup North Group table on its head with a five-wicket win over Yorkshire at Edgbaston.

The Bears’ defence of the trophy was already over after six successive defeats while The White Rose went into the match top of the group, having already qualified for the next phase.

Yorkshire’s total of 281 for eight was chased down with 15 balls to spare.

They built a meaty total thanks to Joe Root’s stylish 83 (98 balls, seven fours) and a muscular sixth-wicket stand of 116 in 15.1 overs by Tim Bresnan (65, 61 balls, four fours, four sixes) and Matthew Waite (a List A-best 71, 58 balls, seven fours, two sixes).

But Warwickshire’s reply was robustly launched by Jonathan Trott (70, 69 balls, eight fours, two sixes) and Sam Hain (55, 64 balls, seven fours).

And after a wobble induced by spinner Azeem Rafiq (10-0-35-3), they were steered to victory by a cleanly-hit alliance of 111 in 106 balls between Ian Bell (98, 85 balls, 11 fours, three sixes) and Rikki Clarke (44 not out, 49 balls, four fours, two sixes).

After choosing to bat, Yorkshire lost Adam Lyth to the first ball of the match, from Keith Barker, which he edged to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.

Jonny Bairstow soon miscued Rikki Clarke to mid-on and Peter Handscomb drove expansively and nicked behind off Barker, who bowled his full stint straight off and was unlucky not to harvest better figures than 10-1-39-2.

Root and Gary Ballance added 64 in 14 overs before the latter lifted Grant Thornton to long-leg. Root, looking utterly assured, appeared set for his 11th List A century when he feathered an attempted cut at Clarke to the keeper.

That left Yorkshire 149 for five but Bresnan and Waite joined forces to exploit a short Hollies Stand-side boundary in a century stand. Considering the shortness of that boundary, for off-spinner Jeetan Patel (10-0-32-1) to deliver ten overs without conceding a four or six was a remarkable effort.

Still, Bresnan’s ninth one-day half-century and Waite’s first had given Warwickshire a stuff target.

Trott and Hain gave the Bears’ reply an excellent base but after Trott sent up a skier off Waite, Rafiq struck three times in quick succession. He bowled Hain and Ambrose in the space of three balls and had Ateeq Javid caught at short fine-leg.

But Bell and Clarke halted the clatter and then gradually accelerated, Bell ending the group stage in fine form with scores of 93, 104 and 98. Yorkshire, who have lost top spot in the group to Worcestershire who defeated Durham at New Road, tomorrow face Leicestershire at Headingley.

Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite said:

“It was disappointing to lose but we have qualified and have got Leicestershire on Tuesday so hopefully we can beat them at Headingley.

“I enjoyed my innings. It was just a shame that we didn’t win the game.

“It was nice to get my first 50 for Yorkshire. I got 40 last week against Northants and that gave me a bit of confidence coming into today and I am happy with how I’ve been contributing with the ball.

“ I just want to keep learning every game and getting better.

“It’s just nice to be in a side with six internationals and pleasing to know I that I can play in a side that good.

“Tim Bresnan has given me a lot of help. Even today when I was batting he just told me to stand still and hit the ball and just that little bit of advice can make all the difference.

“If I achieve half of what he has in the game I’ll be happy.”