Southern Brave women maintain 100 per cent Hundred record with victory over Welsh Fire in Cardiff

Southern Brave made it two wins from their first two Hundred matches as they raced to a six-wicket victory against Welsh Fire with 16 balls to spare.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 6:56 pm
Southern Brave's Smriti Mandhana batting as the storm clouds roll in during The Hundred match against Welsh Fire at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

A half-century from Smriti Mandhana and wickets from Lauren Bell saw the visitors over the line.

The Brave had won the toss and put the Fire into bat and their bowlers made life very difficult for the Welsh side’s top order with Bell and Anya Shrubsole setting the tone early.

The Fire managed just 110-7 from their 100 balls with only Hayley Matthews making any sort of meaningful contribution.

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Welsh Fire's Georgia Redmayne is run out by Carla Rudd of Southern Brave. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.

Mandhana marshalled the chase brilliantly on her way to 61 from 39 as the Brave kept their perfect record.

The Fire had reached 26-1 at the end of the Power Play and they rarely went at better than a run a ball throughout their innings.

The only real acceleration came from the bat of Matthews who launched some powerful shots straight down the ground and over the fielders’ heads.

Matthews eventually fell for 33 from 20 balls when she got a thick edge that ballooned up into the waiting hands of Wellington off the bowling of Bell.

When Sarah Taylor fell to the very next ball, pinned LBW by Bell, the Fire were 53-4 at the halfway stage of their innings.

Sophie Luff tried to get the Fire up and running again with some powerful drives but she fell having a big swing at a ball from Stafanie Taylor and Carla Rudd stumped her for eight from seven balls.

A run-a-ball 24 from Georgia Hennessy got the Fire past three figures, but it was a total that seemed short of what they needed against a powerful Brave batting line up.

The Brave’s innings got off to a quick start with Danni Wyatt and Mandhana looking to get ahead of the required rate. Wyatt fell for 12 from nine but Mandhana looked imperious, hitting three sixes during her innings.

Nicole Harvey should have got the wicket of Mandhana when she skied a ball to midwicket but Alex Griffiths dropped the simplest of chances. Harvey got her reward the next ball when Sophia Dunkley hit a full toss high into the covers.

That was the last moment for success for the Fire as Mandhana and Taylor took their side to their target with ease.

Bell said: ‘It has been really good, with two away games especially, we are very happy to come away with a couple of wins.

‘Smriti is great, she was unlucky in the first game and she batted really well today.

‘It was great that she could see it through to the end and made it easy for Stafanie at the other end.

‘I have been loving it. It is an exciting tournament to be a part of and I am just really enjoying each game as it comes.’