Southern Brave in prime position to feature in both finals at the first-ever Hundred Finals Day at Lord’s
Southern Brave are in prime position for both of their men’s and women’s teams to be in action at the first-ever The Hundred Finals Day at Lord’s.
The Brave’s women’s team secured their place in the showpiece with a 39-run thrashing of Welsh Fire yesterday before the men’s team went top with a similarly emphatic performance under Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl lights.
It was revenge for the men after Fire had comfortably beaten them by 18 runs in their opening fixture in Cardiff, writes EVIE ASHTON.
On that occasion the Fire smashed 165 thanks to a explosive knock of 72 from 39 balls from captain Jonny Bairstow.
The fortunes of both teams have veered in completely different directions since.
Bairstow has since joined up on England duty – after hitting half-centuries in the first two games – and his side has not won since.
The question last night was whether Fire could finally overcome his loss to keep their hopes alive.
With the spotlight therefore on Tom Banton he initially stepped up, smashing three spectacular sixes in his 36 off 20 balls. The young England star got the ship sailing alongside Ian Cockbain as Fire recovered from a troubling 11-1 to 69-2.
But then the spinners arrived coupled with stellar fielding.
Jake Lintott wiped out Banton and Cockbain in consecutive fives with his left-arm wrist spin, and Danny Briggs further choked Fire as he claimed Ben Duckett and conceded only 17 runs from his 20 balls.
The cracks began to show as Fire post only 147 - 18 runs shy of the previous total against Brave when they had Bairstow in full flow.
Brave capitalised with Quinton De Kock again leading the side home in epic fashion.
Captain James Vince, at his home county ground, powered through the innings with six fours and returned to the dugout on 53 off 39 balls having put Southern Brave in a great position for De Kock to take advantage of.
De Kock smacked a fantastic 57 not out off 32 balls, and he and Alex Davies finished the match off with 13 balls to spare.
De Kock and Vince’s performance wasn’t too far from the brilliance on show a few hours earlier displayed by openers Danni Wyatt and Smriti Mandhana who built a mammoth partnership of 107 runs together in their annihilation of Fire.
The men’s fearlessness resembled that of the women. All four players have made two half-centuries in the competition so far.
Just maybe Southern Brave, whose last group games are against the Oval Invincibles at The Ageas Bowl next Monday, will do the double at Lord’s.
The ECB’s Hundred Rising is providing eight aspiring, young journalists the opportunity to tell the story of The Hundred men’s and women’s competitions through their own eyes.