The Hundred, a new competitive game show where players battle it out to see who can make it the furthest in 100 days, was the talk of the town last night.
|Blake 44* (28); Lintott 3-14; Oval Invincibles 134-7 (100 balls).|
|De Grandhomme 40* (28), Davies 40* (40), Southern Brave 135-4 (95 balls) (29)|
|Southern Brave were victorious by six wickets.|
With a dramatic six-wicket victory at The Ageas Bowl, the Southern Brave kept their nerve to qualify for the final stages of the men’s Hundred and eliminate the Oval Invincibles.
The hosts were 68-4 in chasing a difficult 135 in a must-win game, but Colin de Grandhomme and Alex Davies each struck 40 not out, with the latter smashing a six to seal victory with five balls to play.
The Brave have moved to the top of the standings with 11 points, but they are not yet certain of a spot in Saturday’s final at Lord’s, as Birmingham Phoenix may overtake them if they defeat Northern Superchargers on Tuesday.
However, the last three teams have been determined, with the Trent Rockets poised to face either the Brave or Phoenix at the Kia Oval on Friday.
The visitors required Alex Blake’s excellent 44 off 28 balls to register a competitive 134-7 after losing six wickets for only 33 runs in a collapse.
The Invincibles began out well with the ball and on the field, but lost their composure late in the game, allowing De Grandhomme and Davies’ comfortable partnership of 67 off 42 balls to carry the Brave to victory in front of a boisterous home crowd.
The huge guy who had been silent for a long time suddenly bursts out.
Against the Oval Invincibles, the Southern Brave waited too long to pull ahead of the run pace.
De Grandhomme, a New Zealand all-rounder, has struggled thus far in The Hundred, failing to capture a wicket or reach double digits with the bat.
De Grandhomme began calmly in support of the set Davies, coming in at six below quick bowler George Garton, who produced a crucial cameo of 23 off 17 balls, including two sixes.
But he then hit a soaring pull shot into the bleachers off Reece Topley, before a huge blow from left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi landed in the fans and broke the tie.
De Grandhomme is a quiet guy off the field, despite his big size, power hitting, and flowing mullet, but the magnificent way in which he rediscovered form here will bring tremendous joy to many fans, particularly a passionate audience at the Ageas Bowl.
Davies’ role should also not be ignored, as he smashed three fours early in his innings before ensuring he kept the scoreboard ticking and then finished the match in style.
After slumping to 32-3 early in their reply, the Brave never faltered, with skipper James Vince being run out by Jason Roy, who also took a magnificent diving grab to remove Quinton de Kock.
Late in the game, the Invincibles’ discipline falters.
The Invincibles got off to a quick start with opener Will Jacks hitting 39 off 13 balls, but they fell to 79-6 after left-arm wrist-spinner Jake Lintott claimed 3-14.
Lintott, 28, is the head of cricket at Queen’s College in Taunton. He was drafted as a wildcard by the Brave, but he ends the group stages as the team’s highest wicket-taker with ten.
The Invincibles were further restricted by Garton’s 2-22 off 15 balls, but Blake’s late hitting, which included three sixes, set up an interesting chase for the Brave.
For extended periods of time, the visitors were extremely outstanding on the field, with Laurie Evans’ spectacular throw running Garton away from the boundary following an early slip.
Saqib Mahmood, Tom Curran, and Topley, all from England, were proving difficult to knock away until the latter delivered a sloppy no-ball down the leg side, resulting in Shamsi’s overthrows and leaving the Brave requiring less than a run per delivery.
Topley replied with two dot balls, but Davies made sure the game didn’t go down to the wire in the last five deliveries.
Last but not least…
Even the most famous cricket matches can have their share of humiliating moments…