Rockets Back At The Double

Welsh Fire 102-103/6 Trent Rockets Women (The Hundred Women)

Welsh Fire 139/8-140/4 Trent Rockets Men (The Hundred Men)

Rachel Priest tore up the stumps, and Samit Patel let fly with the bat, as the Trent Rockets registered a pair of impressive victories on Friday, both sides’ maintaining a relative impressive record in the debut season of The Hundred.

Away at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, the home of the Welsh Fire, the Women opened up proceedings and Nat Sciver’s Rockets tore through the Fire batting order as the hosts went onto set the lowest run chase (to date) of the competition, posting just 102 runs in 100 balls.

Bryony Smith (27) and Hayley Matthews (28) put together a decent opener for the hosts, and, although Georgia Redmayne went for just one run, she being run-out by Kathryn Bryce, early signs were reasonable for them.

However, once they, and Sarah Taylor (11) had gone, it was pretty much downhill, the Fire at the time of Taylor’s dismissal, bowled by Heather Graham, were 76-4; then came the collapse and the hosts struggled at the crease.

Sophie Luff, the hosts’ captain, went for 9, caught by her opposite number, Sciver, off Sammy-Jo Johnson, and within half a dozen balls they went from 96-5 to 98-7, as Hennessy and George both went for low scores, both of whom finding themselves dropping at the hands of Priest, stumping them well.

The Rockets weren’t done there either, and neither was Priest, she reading the last rites to Alex Griffiths for an impressive hat-trick on the stumps, in under a dozen balls; Nicole Harvey fell straight after and, with the final ball of the Fire innings, Hannah Baker would find herself the third to be run-out.

The Rockets though, they could have suffered the same fate, twice being rocked during their innings as both Priest and Johnson went early on, the visitors quickly finding themselves 16-2, but captain Sciver has been full of runs in The Hundred, and she would rack up another, half century, dragging her side back into contention.

Although Kathryn Brunt, Heather Graham, and Nat Sciver all feel in-between a spell that would see them drop from 82-3 to 93-5 in quick succession, the Rockets had done enough to see the finishing line.

Even when Sarah Glenn was yorked late on by Hannah Baker, the tail end had enough in the tank, Emily Windsor and Abi Freeborn all smiles to see the Rockets to a four wicket victory, and in turn move them up to fourth in the table, with eight balls to spare.

The Men, they were a little more dominant in their victory, even if the Fire set 140 to win, and that of Glenn Phillips (50) and Leus du Plooy (30) were pinging the ball about for fun.

Phillips would be the first of the two to fall, caught by Steven Mullaney off a Matt Carter ball, by which the time the Fire would be 125-4, with a dozen balls to still to play.

That final dozen however proved detrimental for the Fire, and delightful for the Rockets, as a further four wickets went by the wayside.

The final ten balls of the innings, Wahab Riaz being let loose as Jimmy Neesham (130-5), du Plooy (132-6), Qais Ahmad (134-7) and Luke Fletcher (138-8) all dropped, Wahab taking three of the four, with Neesham being run-out by D’Arcy Short.

Lewis Gregory’s batting order just needed to hold firm, and, of course, not lose too many wickets, and cheaply, even though Short didn’t quite read that script and went early, Graeme White catching him for just 6 runs off a Matthew Milnes ball.

Dawid Malan went for 20 but the Rockets were already half-way to their target at the time, putting up 50-2; even by the half-way stage of their innings, and with Steven Mullaney going for 11, the visitors were at 63-3.

Alex Hales (26), as per, had put together a good innings and, although his and Samit Patel’s partnership was short-lived, the latter, alongside his captain, Lewis Gregory, saw the Rockets home in double-quick time.

Patel (46 n/o) was again enjoying himself at the crease blasting five 6’s in his six boundaries, coming close to knocking out a half-century, whilst Gregory (22 n/o) also fared well, the Rockets reaching their target in just 90 balls.

The win, by six wickets, see the Men’s side top their group by two points from that of the Manchester Originals and Birmingham Phoenix, having won five of their six matches to date.

Next up for the Rockets, again on the road, they travel to the Oval Invincibles on Sunday, Women from 15:30, Men from 19:00, before returning home on Friday 13 August, and the visit of Birmingham Phoenix.

Rockets Women: Rachel Priest, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Natalie Sciver (capt), Katherine Brunt, Heather Graham, Sarah Glenn, Abi Freeborn, Emily Windsor, Kathryn Bryce, Nancy Harman, Georgia Davis.

Rockets Men: Alex Hales, D’Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, Lewis Gregory (capt), Samit Patel, Rashid Khan, Luke Wood, Matt Carter, Wahab Raz.

Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @TrentBridge Samit Patel was star of the show for the men.

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