Andrew Gale hit a century as Yorkshire got off the mark in Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A with a resounding 93-run victory over Kent in Canterbury.
Skipper Gale’s 112 from 114 balls proved the mainstay of his side’s total of 254 for seven. Gale went on to lay foundations for a big total with an innings that included 11 fours and two sixes. Having won the toss and elected to bat, Yorkshire had 73 on the board after 10 overs.
Jonny Bairstow set the visitors on their way with 26, which included a pulled six off a free-hit from Azhar Mahmood. Adam Ball struck twice in as many deliveries either side of a maiden from Mahmood. The fifth over ended with Darren Stevens’ spectacular catch seeing off Bairstow then Adam Lyth was caught behind first ball.
Gale and Joe Root’s third-wicket partnership of 124 in 21 overs set a platform that allowed Yorkshire’s middle order to throw the bat. Gale went on to score his second 100 in one-day cricket, which came off 105 balls, when he pulled Coles to the boundary although though not before an ill-judged reverse sweep ended Root’s innings of 43. After Gerard Brophy fell leg before for 28 and Tim Bresnan was bowled, Gale perished attempting a third run to Ball at deep square leg. Needing 255, Kent lost Sam Northeast and Martin van Jaarsveld to successive deliveries. Northeast went caught and van Jaarsveld handed Ryan Sidebottom a second scalp when he cut the former England fast bowler high to third man. Rob Key looped a catch to mid-wicket. Alex Blake was the next to go, caught behind reaching for a ball from Rashid. Shortly after sweeping David Wainwright for six, Stevens charged Rashid and was bowled for 39.
Two balls after Kent took the batting powerplay, Bresnan sent Geraint Jones’ off stump cartwheeling. The hosts’ fading hopes of victory expired with the departure of Mahmood, who holed out to deep mid-wicket.