Ajmal Shahzad was the hero turned villain who just failed to redeem himself as Yorkshire lost to Kent by two wickets with two balls remaining in the Clydesdale Bank 40 League match at Headingley.
The England all-rounder first of all boosted Yorkshire with a fiercely struck 59 not out to help his side recover to 230 for seven but then when Kent were struggling on 175 for five in 32 overs he came back into the attack and was hammered for five consecutive fours by Martin van Jaarsveld before bowling him for 74 off 65 deliveries with 10 fours.
Despite this onslaught, which followed a cleanly struck 47 from Matt Coles, Yorkshire kept their heads and Shahzad was called upon to bowl the final over with just four needed and his first ball was scooped to Andrew Gale at cover by dangerman, Geraint Jones, who had made a disciplined 39.
Shahzad’s next two deliveries yielded only a single but he was then thumped to the midwicket boundary by Ashley Shaw to leave Yorkshire with just one victory from their four Group A matches.
Yorkshire were without England all-rounder Tim Bresnan, who is receiving treatment for a sore calf muscle, and Gerard Brophy, who is recovering from a bruised and swollen right thumb.
Director of professional cricket, Martyn Moxon, said that at this stage there had to be a doubt about both of them for the Roses match which starts at Liverpool on Wednesday.
Apart from van Jaarsveld’s assault on Shahzad, Kent never really got on top of the Yorkshire attack, Steve Patterson leading the way with three for 45.
n Darren Sammy ripped through the Pakistan tail to provide the West Indies with their first Test victory in over two years. The Windies triumphed in the first Test in Providence as Pakistan fell 41 runs short of their victory target of 219.
Sammy, whose captaincy has come under fire, showed the way himself as he took five wickets for 29, giving his side their first Test victory since February 2009.