Oval Invincibles A-A Trent Rockets Women (The Hundred Women)
Oval Invincibles 125/6-116/8 Trent Rockets Men (The Hundred Men)
A rain-affected afternoon and evening at the Oval put paid to Trent Rockets Women’s match with the Oval Invincibles, both sides being awarded a point apiece, whilst the Men’s side were delayed until late evening, and with 65 balls apiece, before falling agonisingly short when losing by nine runs in what was a great advert for short-form cricket.
Eventually the Men got underway, Lewis Gregory, the Rockets captain, opting to bowl first, saying after the coin toss: “It makes things pretty straight-forward. Guys are going to have to go hard with the bat and it will be hard for the bowlers.”
Jason Roy (56 n/o) and Will Jacks opened the batting for the Invincibles, racking up a near forty ball serve in the 16-ball power-play from within which Will Jacks is dropped, not once, but twice, before being caught at the third time of asking.
First Timm Van Der Gugten got his angles slightly off-kilt and dropped Jacks, before Khan did exactly the same moments later; third-time lucky for the Rockets though, and, off a Van Der Gugten bowl, Jacks (13) went long again, only to be caught by Dawid Malan at the boundary.
Jacks’ replacement, Sunil Narine, went quickly, in-and-out for just one round, nonchalantly caught and bowled by Matt Carter, the half-century being reached by the Invincibles in just 24 balls; and still the boundaries were being blasted at, Colin Ingram adding one himself before falling quickly, at full-stretch, by Gregory, and another wicket for the Samit Patel bandwagon.
Patel and Moores then combined well to dismiss Sam Billings, Moores stumping the home captain, before Alex Blake is toyed with by the duo, he twice surviving calls for stumps by Moore off Patel, fortunately for him, he gets the call each time, before blasting Carter for six.
Blake though went to Khan and Tom Curran, although he started with a six, fell quickly to Sam Cook, caught behind by Matt Carter; Jason Roy though, broken bat and all, stayed the entire innings and registered a deserved half century of his off just 27 balls, before he, and Laurie Evans, saw the Invincibles post 125-6, setting the Rockets 126 to win.
A poor start to their innings, the Rockets would see D’Arcy Short go for zero within three balls, and Dawid Malan soon followed him when aiming for a six, Short to Sunil Narine, Malan to Tom Curran, whilst between times, Hales would be on the receiving end of some punishment from Topley, two consecutive balls landing plum in the nether regions – painful indeed.
Hales though would go soon after, having registered 26 himself, before being bowled, straight down the middle and under the bat, from Narine, the same bowler quickly taking care of Tom Moores shortly after by which point the Rockets were struggling at 42-4.
With the Rockets needing a multitude of runs, boundaries aplenty, to get something from the game, Patek falls to Fabraiz Shamsi, and shortly after, the same bowler takes the wicket of Mullaney to leave the visitors on 80-6, with under twenty balls remaining.
Now, as Captain Lewis Gregory, and Rashid Khan aim to close the innings, after a very long day at the Oval, and time running out (Invincibles able to add another fielder into the mix), they tried, but to no avail.
The Rockets moved past the century before Khan fell when going for a big boundary, caught by Evans on the boundary, and, when Carter was run-out the Rockets were at sixes and sevens with the visiting Captain, Gregory, finishing on 28 n/o but fell just short by nine runs.
The win for the Invincibles saw them jump up to second in the table behind the leading Rockets, they next facing Birmingham Phoenix, at home, on Friday – the final though, it’s still on.
Rockets Men: Alex Hales, D’Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, Lewis Gregory (capt), Samir Patel, Rashid Khan, Matt Carter, Timm Van Der Gugten, Sam Cook.
Venue: The Oval, London
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @thehundred Alex Hales was hit where it hurts not once but twice.