de Grandhomme and Davies star as Southern Brave men book their spot in Hundred Eliminator after beating Oval Invincibles at The Ageas Bowl

Southern Brave booked their spot in the Men's Hundred Eliminator and ended Oval Invincibles' hopes of progressing with a comfortable six-wicket victory in the winner-takes-all clash at the Ageas Bowl tonight.

By Community Sport Reporter
Monday, 16th August 2021, 10:38 pm
Southern Brave's Colin de Grandhomme celebrates victory against the Oval Invincibles. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.
Southern Brave's Colin de Grandhomme celebrates victory against the Oval Invincibles. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Chasing down a target of 135, the Brave ensured their involvement at the Kia Oval on Friday with five balls to spare despite losing key men Quinton de Kock, James Vince and Paul Stirling cheaply, writes IAN McCULLOUGH.

That they did was thanks to an unbeaten stand of 67 between Colin de Grandhomme, who will next week try and help Hampshire reach the T20 Blast Finals Day, and Alex Davies.

The In-form De Kock fell for nine to a magnificent diving catch from Jason Roy off Reece Topley's bowling with big-hitting Irish opener Stirling then dismissed for two by Tom Curran.

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Southern Brave's Alex Davies during The Hundred match at The Ageas Bowl. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Home hero Vince was run out for 13 as the home side found themselves in difficulties at 32-3 after 28 balls.

But fast bowler George Garton's quickfire 23, after being surprisingly promoted up the order, and two crucial knocks of 40 from Alex Davies and de Grandhomme got their side over the line much to the delight of another sell-out crowd with the Lancashire batter hitting a six off one-time Hampshire bowler Topley to wrap up the win.

After winning the toss and opting to field, the Brave recovered superbly after an ominous-looking start from the Invincibles, who raced to 46 from the first 16 balls before being reeled in by the home side's bowlers.

Opener Will Jacks bludgeoned 39 from just 13 deliveries before falling to Garton when he mistimed a pull shot and found the hands of Jake Lintott with Colin Ingram falling to the very next ball.

Southern Brave fans show their support in the stands during The Hundred match at The Ageas Bowl. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Skipper Sam Billings survived the hat-trick ball but his stay at the crease was brief as he followed Roy back to the pavilion as the visitors lost their two key batters for six and 12 respectively to find themselves in deep trouble at 64-4.

Sunil Narine, Laurie Evans and Tom Curran all failed to steady the ship as the Invincibles slumped to 99-7 as seven wickets fell for 53 runs, with Lintott finishing with figures of 3-14.

Kent left-hander Alex Blake helped Billings side see out their innings with a well-made 44 from 28 balls to at least give his side a target to try and defend.

But it proved to be an under-par total as the Brave men followed their women's side by reaching the knock-out stages of the competition.

Southern Brave's Colin de Grandhomme during The Hundred win tonight. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Brave bowler Lintott said: ‘It was a really good wiin.

‘We showed a lot of fight. Davo (Alex Davies) has done so well to get us over the line there and there have been some good contributions from Colin (de Grandhomme) and personally it was great to contribute to a win as well.

‘After 15 balls they were on 40 so we were really under the pump there and it would have been easy for heads to drop.

‘But it is another example of the character in the team and what a tight-knit group we are.’

Spectators look on as the sun sets during The Hundred match between Southern Brave Men and Oval Invincibles Men at The Ageas Bowl. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images.

Oval Invincibles skipper Sam Billings said: ‘When you lose a few wickets, it's a case of getting a partnership together and we just didn't do that.

‘That is incredibly disappointing because we did an excellent job to even have a sniff with the ball because it was a good pitch. We just batted poorly.

‘All we needed was to take it deep and all of a sudden you are looking at 150 plus. We should have got that at a canter.

‘It is incredibly disappointing given the side we have. When we did click in those small glimpses across the competition we showed what a brilliant side we could be. But it was probably a case of too many individual performances and not getting a team collective together.’