Sometimes you can’t avoid going to work on your birthday, especially if you are the captain of Trent Rockets. That was the fate of Nat Sciver at Trent Bridge today as her team looked to get back on track after a couple of disappointing losses with a game against London Spirit, a side yet to register a win this year. However, it didn’t faze Sciver on the first day of her thirties as she helped propel her side with the bat (42 from 34) and ball with two for 20 as the Rockets won by 18 runs.
Rockets knew their batting had not been good enough from their first three games, and only their bowlers saved the day against Manchester Originals. Sciver again lost the toss, and the home team were again asked to bat first.
With only one fifty from the bat of Sciver and an unbeaten 45 from Abbey Freeborn, runs haven’t come easy; with time fast running out in the competition, it brought about a change in strategy in the powerplay with more scoops than a boat with a leak.
Elyse Villani (24) looked inventive and willing to find the gaps in the field, while Bryony Smith top scored with 63 from 44 balls. Smith waited for the bad ball and made sure it disappeared.
Smith and Sciver have played a lot of cricket together; it was evident in their running between the stumps, and the pair added 97 for the third wicket.
Amelia Kerr and Megan Schutt, world-class performers, dragged it back for the visitors with some spirit in the closing ten balls as the Rockets looked for a total past the 150 mark with ease. Kerr dismissed Smith to a catch at deep mid-wicket, her second of the game.
Mignon du Preez was run out as Sciver called her through for another run, Schutt bowled tight in the last set, and Rockets could only muster 142 for four.
It wasn’t a total beyond the London Spirit; after all, Beth Mooney and Kerr are exceptionally good with the bat, and if their teammates could hang around, then it was in for a tight finish.
When Kathryn Bryce bowled a couple of full tosses in her first set, one, an above waist-high no ball, London Spirit would have thought it was their day. However, Sciver was not going to let anyone spoil her party, and she soon had Mooney, who ballooned a shot high into the sky and what should have been a catch for the wicketkeeper was snaffled by Sciver.
Alice Monaghan, promoted to three, was bowled next ball by Sciver, and a second Rockets hat-trick of the season might have been on, Kerr wasn’t playing along, and she felt like Spirit’s last chance.
Alana King saw off Grace Scrivens lbw for an 18-ball eight, and Sarah Glenn dismissed Kerr for 26 lbw. Dani Gibson tried to pick up the pace and had raced to 12 before she found the hands of Glenn from seven balls. After that, there was just too much for