Trent Rockets Women 122/7-149/7 Northern Superchargers (The Hundred Women)
Trent Rockets Men 134/8-132 Northern Superchargers (The Hundred Men)
Where on earth does one begin after a game like that, a game where, at one point, midway through their innings, the Sky Sports win predictor had the Trent Rockets chances of succeeding at a measly six percent.
Credit must surely go to a dogged, sturdy performance from Alex Hales, as well as bowlers Marchant De Lange and Rashid Khan, the latter two, along with Matt Carter, giving the Trent Bridge hosts as good a chance as any after the visiting, Northern Superchargers, registered 132 all-out.
Throughout the visiting knock, they eased away, and after losing an early wicket, Chris Lynn falling to Khan, then Ben Stokes was taken out, for just nine runs, after Carter’s bowling was sliced, only for Hales to catch.
Although another wicket fell before the fifty mark was breached, the Superchargers stood firm until late in the innings when, after De Lange caught Harry Brook off a Gregory ball, it was suddenly downhill for visitors, a late, batting order collapse being witnessed at the Bridge.
Pretty much in quick succession, the visiting wickets fell, the Superchargers dropping from 107-5 to 109-8 in quick-time, the Rockets dismissing that of Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, David Willey, and Brydon Carse, and there was still time for more.
As the balls were ebbed away, the Trent Rockets had time for one more trick for De Lange, he collecting his treble with the wicket of John Simpson, the Supercharger being bowled out for 132, with a ball to spare.
Off that, early expectation was for the Rockets to carry on with the bat where they’d left off with the ball, the Superchargers though had other ideas, and the Bridge was left stunned with an early, batting order collapse.
Quickly slipping to 58-6, the Rockets batting order going quite cheaply for the crease, it looked like, to succeed, a backs-to-the-wall job was needed.
Up step Alex Hales….
Having opened the Rockets innings alongside D’Arcy Short, he, somehow, managed to out-see everyone, and remain there at the death, before being afforded the chance to claim victory, from the jaws of defeat.
Rashid Khan, for his part, put on a brilliant innings with the bat, knocking 25 of his own, and at one point even had more runs than Hales; Khan went, to Ben Stokes, and the Rockets found themselves at 85-7.
Luke Wood, for a time, replaced Khan then, after he went, a slippery Matt Carter stepped up to the plate, a lower pecking batsman who, at one point of his knock, the Sky Sports punditry said of him that: “he’s just standing there, and swivelling from the hip.”
He, and Hales, were doing just that, swivelling from the hip, and knocking boundaries for fun and, as the balls left were running out, and the runs remaining lessened, Rockets chances of success suddenly sky-rocketed.
And up stepped Alex Hales….
The most unlikeliest of all of his innings, he would register an unbeaten 40, off just 34 balls, throughout the entire innings, and had seen himself survive Ben Stokes, it would be he, at the death, who would smash the most beautiful of match-winning sixes, and give the Rockets a table-topping, two wicket victory.
Of all the drama, and success, the Rockets Men are enjoying, the Women are still searching their first win, falling narrowly short for the second successive game when they faced the Superchargers earlier in the day.
Having been set a mammoth 150 to win, following a Mumbai masterclass from the Superchargers opener, Jemimah Rodrigues, who finished with 60, and her fellow batters Lauren Winfield-Hill (33) and Laura Kimmince (31) enjoying themselves in the crease, the Rockets would not find it easy.
They would be unable to find their stride, no momentum and, after suffering the early loss of Rachel Priest, then Sammy-Jo Johnson, the Rockets were at 36-2.
Nat Sciver again looked to pull the Rockets over the line, as she nearly did in their first match, but she fell at 73-3, caught and bowled by Hollie Armitage, before Heather Graham went the same way but to Linsey Smith.
Sarah Glenn stepped up to the crease and, alongside Katherine Brunt, puts a little knock together as the century is reached, before dropped at the stumps following another Armitage ball, the Superchargers then made short work of Teresa Graves and Kathryn Bryce, Brunt seeing the Rockets over the line with an unbeaten 43 alongside Abi Freeborn.
However, the final charge from the Rockets would be in vain, they falling 27 runs short of the Superchargers final total.
In another, quick turn-around, the Trent Rockets face their first road trip, on Thursday 29 July, when they head to Lords to face the London Spirit.
Rockets Women: Rachel Priest, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Natalie Sciver (capt), Katherine Brunt, Heather Graham, Abi Freeborn, Sarah Glenn, Kathryn Bryce, Lucy Higham, Michaela Kirk, Teresa Graves.
Rockets Men: Alex Hales, D’Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Tom Moores, Lewis Gregory (capt), Matt Carter, Samit Patel, Rashid Khan, Luke Wood, Marchant de Lange.
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @TrentBridge Alex Hales scored the winning run for the Rockets.