Marchant de Lange claimed five wickets for 20, as Southern Brave stared down his 90MPH plus bowling with disastrous consequences. In an age where variations and slower balls are king, de Lange gave Southern Brave their ‘Marchant orders.’ That was before Dawid Malan, and D’arcy Short hit confident half-centuries to bring home a first victory for the Trent Rockets.
Luke Wood got the Trent Rockets started as he bowled James Vince for a two-ball duck. Wood might have had a claim for lbw against Vince with the game’s first ball, but he didn’t have to wait long to get his man.
Alex Davies, a player that doesn’t let the score stay static for long, was going nicely on 21 before he tried to hit over extra cover only to pick out Dawid perfectly.
Enter de Lange, an imposing South African who charges in and tries to knock you over or, even better, your stumps. He did just that to Colin de Grandhomme of ‘the best hair in cricket’ fame, cramping the New Zealander up for room and rearranging his stumps as a result.
When Devon Conway edged behind to give de Lange his third wicket of the game, Southern Brave on 58 for five could have been forgiven for running and hiding. But, instead, Ross Whitely and Chris Jordan started the recovery. Between them, they added 50 runs before de Lange struck again – Jordan on the hunt for end of innings runs leathered it straight to Short at deep backward square for 16 runs.
It felt like it would be the perfect opportunity for Alex Hales to show that he can still do a job, in front of the wrong England captain. But, unfortunately, George Garton hadn’t got the message as the Trent Bridge crowd started to find its voice.
After starting with a beamer at Short, Garton found his radar quickly and the home town hero for a golden duck.
Short and Malan kept chipping away at the total required, and they needed just 59 more runs at the halfway stage. Malan reached his fifty in 37 balls. It was a calm knock that was judged at the right pace, knowing that Short had the power to kick on if needed at the other end. The pair complemented each other, and the 100 partnership came up in 72 balls, Malan finishing unbeaten on 62.
With seven runs to win Short was not out on 44, at which stage he smoked it to the longest part of the boundary to bring up his fifty, and the next ball took Trent Rockets home.
This will be difficult for Southern Brave to take; they were totally outplayed with bat and ball, while Trent Rockets look like they have a good mix to carry them forward, even when Joe Root leaves after the game on Monday.