|Men hundred, Lord’s’|
|Trent Rockets 123-4 (100 balls): Short 69 (47); Nabi 2-20|
|London Spirit 116-8 (100 balls): van der Merwe 25 (18); Carter 3-17, Patel 3-20|
|Trent Rockets won by seven runs|
|Score card; Table|
Trent Rockets maintained their 100% record in the Hundred of Men as they passed London Spirit in a low scoring thriller at Lord’s.
Rockets were placed in baton on a field where two Women’s Hundred games had been played, and they stuttered to 123-4 – D’Arcy Short’s 47-ball 69 the high point.
Spirit struggled at 48-5 and 93-8, but a 23-run collaboration between Blake Cullen and Roelof van der Merwe meant they needed nine to win the last three balls.
But Marchant de Lange moved into third place for a single, before two point balls sealed a seven-run victory in front of 23,892 fans.
Spirit, who is coached by Australian great Shane Warne and captained by England captain Eoin Morgan, who wins the World Cup, still has no win in the first three games.
Rockets top the table of eight teams, while Spirit is sixth.
earlier Trent Rockets beat London Spirit in the women’s league to take their first win of the tournament.
Carter stands up for Rockets
At 6 feet tall, Matt Carter is tall for a spinner, but he has a fine one hundred tournament.
Carter didn’t start bowling until he was almost 17, after he began to think he was “not good enough to be a bowler” or “good enough to focus on hitting”.
He was left out of the Rockets’ team because of their… win in opening game over Southern Brave, before going 2-17 in their win over Northern Superchargers on Monday.
The 25-year-old once again shone, taking 3-17 of his 20 balls, as he slid to the top of the men MVP standings.
The first two of those wickets fell in a 10-ball set during the power play, when he caught Adam Rossington with a sensational Luke Wood dive from his first throw, before Mohammad Nabi was caught halfway through.
He later returned to get Joe Denly lbw, despite an attempted revision, with his faster pace alarming the right-hander.
It wasn’t just with the ball he played in. He also made a great catch. He was on slip when Chris Wood cut on one of Rashid Khan, and he quickly moved to the right to take a thick outer rim at about chest height.
He was ably supported by Samit Patel who took 3-20, and Afghan leg spinner Rashid Khan who claimed 2-13.
Are the Rockets the team to beat?
With their impeccable track record, the conversation will turn to whether Trent Rockets are the team to beat in the men’s competition.
They’ve tackled everything they’ve been given so far: their coach Andy Flower tested positive for coronavirus, they came across Superchargers on Monday and found a way to put a competitive target in this game.
Going into the last two sets of their innings, they had only reached 10 boundaries in all, but Short found the boundary five times in seven balls – including four times in the last set of five balls – with taps through the leg side, a creaking drive and an outrageous reverse blow to end the innings.
The 24 runs scored from the last seven balls were crucial. They may have won Rockets the game.
On the pitch, their spinners shone, and in De Lange – who took the inaugural five-wicket haul on Sunday – and Luke Wood they have two excellent fast bowlers, who have performed at the start and end of the innings so far.
So, are they the team to beat?
England women’s captain, Heather Knight, thinks so: “They played really well again, and the fact that they’ve won some close games has served them well.
“If you have those matches early in a tournament, you also grow as a team.”
And finally… back sixes and goalkeeper camera
We finish with not one but two fantastic pieces of video – one a six being hit by van der Merwe as he fell backwards, and the other the wicketkeeper’s view of a steepling catch.
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