Rockets beat Originals by nine wickets
There was an admission from Nat Sciver-Brunt that her Trent Rockets side had been below their best during this year’s Hundred. The Rockets need to respond in a manner that would help a bumper crowd go home happy. They did that with a nine-wicket victory against Manchester Originals with 36 balls to spare.
Qualification for the finals stages next week still looks a long way off, and several results will still have to go their way for that to happen.
It was an excellent response to the performance at Sophia Gardens on Monday when they were outclassed by Tammy Beaumont’s record-breaking antics. One bright spot from their 41-run defeat was that Lizelle Lee and Bryony Smith clubbed 78 from 44 balls.
With a target of 108 to defend, it would never be easy for Sophie Ecclestone’s Originals, especially with Smith and Lee starting to find some form. Where the Orgininals struggled to find the boundary, the Rockets found the boundary ten times in the first 25 balls of their reply as they raced towards the target.
On a new pitch for today’s game, it made sense for the Originals to bat first and have the best use of a surface that is usually good for white-ball cricket; however, they never got started, and against Katherine Sciver-Brunt and a barrage of spin with the pace taken right off the ball the Originals’ top order failed to find the rhythm that would threaten a Rockets’ batting line-up that has been fragile during the last few weeks.
At 15 for two from the first 22 balls, Trent Rockets were well on top even though it looked as if Katherine Sciver-Brunt struggled with a hip injury that had kept her out of the side since they lost to the Northern Superchargers on the ninth of August.
You could feel the frustration of the Originals’ top order as they played shots that would only end in their demise. Emma Lamb,out of form, tried to scoop Katherine Sciver-Brunt and looped up a catch to Joanne Gardner.
Laura Wolvaardt, who, when in full flow, is one of the best players to watch, but can sometimes find the field more often than not, struggled to pierce the gaps, and it showed. A 31-ball 23 starts to put pressure on not only her teammates. Wolvaardt survived one stumping as Lee couldn’t collect the ball quickly enough, but Kirstie Gordon would eventually entice Wolvaardt down the pitch one too many times.
There was more urgency from Deandra Dottin, 30 from 26 and Amanda-Jade Wellington, a 19-ball 22, but 107 for five was never enough. The Rockets’ bowlers kept things tight, and although Alana King didn’t take a wicket, she bowled 11 dot balls as her allotment of deliveries only went for 12 runs.
Part of the Rockets’ game is to use their trio of spinners, Smith, King and Gordon, to keep the runs down through the middle of the innings and it worked today.
Had Originals added twenty or thirty more runs, then they had the spin attack to also make it difficult; with the Rockets batters able to go out and attack, neither Wellington nor Sophie Ecclestone were able to settle into the game, and it was all over before they could get any control over the game.
Results must go both teams’ ways to stay in the competition, but it will be difficult. Rockets, though, have gained some much-needed belief that all parts of their game can click simultaneously.