‘Rocket’s’ Skipper Scores Winning ‘Fifty’

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Welsh Fire v Trent Rockets, at Cardiff (Sophia Gardens) on 06 August

Awarding ‘Hero-of-the-match’ cap and medal to Natalie Sciver for her match-winning ‘fifty,’ Charles Dagnall asked her about ‘Rockets’ overseas players. Both Australians (Sammy-Jo Johnson and Heather Graham) had earlier taken three wickets each; and keeper Rachel Priest had made three stumpings and staged a ‘run out’, as ‘Fire’ lost six wickets for six runs in 15 just deliveries. Sciver replied that she understood the ‘difficult pressure’ they faced, all (including herself) having played Australia’s ‘Women’s Big Bash League.’ Separately, Sciver’s ‘fifty’ was third place (cumulative total 190 runs) in the tournament’s batting leaderboard

Summarising the match, commentators agreed that ‘Fire’ had lost the game with the bat, collapsing to 100 all-out, said to be the lowest score ‘made by a team facing all 100 balls.’ Former NZ keeper Priest had made a ‘big impact.’ The Sciver-Brunt partneship put on 52 runs from 45 balls at which point it was 81/2 needing 22 from 30 deliveries. Once Natalie Sciver departed, ‘Rockets’ seemed safe, requiring less than one-run-per-ball. Remaining batters were said to have ‘made a meal of it’ as ‘Rockets’ crept home, winning by 4 wickets with 8 balls remaining; to chalk-up their third win in-a-row

Introducing the match, commentators said that the winning team would be pushing for third spot – both teams having bounced back with two wins following earlier defeats. Two players from each team have been awarded for ‘Hero-of-the-match.’ For ‘Rockets,’ New Zealander Rachel Priest (for batting) and Australian Heather Graham (for bowling). For ‘Fire,’ Ex-England’s Sarah Taylor (for batting & keeping wicket) and WIndies Hayley Matthews (for batting & bowling.) Separately, both teams had lost to ‘Brave’ and ‘Superchargers.’

‘The Hundred’s’ 20th match was broadcast live (commentators included Charles Dagnall, Lydia Greenway, Mark Butcher Nasser Hussain and guest Kevin Pietersen from SKY Sports TV plus cricket social media plus Valkerie Baynes and Chandran Duoran  from ESPNcricinfo social media)

* ‘Fire’ made 100 runs in windy conditions – the lowest score made by a team facing all 100 balls

* ‘Fire’s’ ‘power-play’ made 22/0 without loss (compared to 24/2 by ‘Rockets’) * Opener Bryony Smith hit an aggressive 27 runs from 15 balls, her highest score so far

* Fellow opener Hayley Matthews (28 from 31) was top scorer, her total run tally now 183* Matthews was right to recall Sarah Taylor for a successful ‘not out’ review

* Australian Heather Graham (3/14) broke the Matthews – Taylor partnership, as the bowler taking both their wickets, having bowled 8 balls and conceded 3 runs

* Both teams reached 52/2 by the half-way point * Commentators said ‘Fire’ ‘had to get going, not back to the pavilion’ as wickets began to tumble

* 7 ‘Fire’ wickets fell for 25 runs, as Rockets’ keeper Rachel Priest made a big impact, stumping three ‘tail-enders’ (Georgia Hennessy, Katie George & Alex Griffiths)

* Commentators said ‘Fire’ had lost the game with the bat, losing 6 wickets for six runs in 15 deliveries, finishing on 102 (All out)

* Both ‘Rockets’ openers (Rachel Priest (8) & Sammy-Jo Johnson (0) ) went cheaply during the ‘power-play’

* Skipper Natalie Sciver and partner Katherine Brunt added 66 for ‘Rockets’ third wicket: scoring two-thirds of the total runs required

* Despite the trauma of losing another three wickets, commentators said that batters ‘had made a meal of it’ – needing few runs to win the game

* Abigail Freeborn hit the winning first ball ‘four.’ Commentators added that Freeborn had slimmed down by 10kg, just to play in the tournament

Result: ‘Trent Rockets -W’ 103-6 beat ‘Welsh Fire -W’ 102-All out by four wickets with 8 balls remaining

‘Welsh Fire -Women’ (WF-W) 102 all out (20 ov. 1-run-per-ball) Hayley Matthews 28 runs off 31 balls, Bryony Smith 27(15); ‘Rockets’ bowling: Heather Graham 3/14, Sammy-Jo Johnson 3/24, Sarah Glenn 1/24 Fow 1-34, 2-40, 3-75, 4-76, 5-96, 6-97, 7-98, 8-100, 9-100, 10-102

‘Trent Rockets -Women’ (TR-W) 103-6 (92 balls, 8 balls remaining); Natalie Sciver 54(40), Katherine Brunt 20(28);  ‘Fire’ bowling: Piepa Cleary 2/21, Hayley Matthews 2/13, Bryony Smith 1/18; Fow 1-8, 2-16, 3-82, 4-92, 5-92, 6-98

Scorecard at: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/the-hundred-women-s-competition-2021-1252659/welsh-fire-women-vs-trent-rockets-women-20th-match-1252719/live-cricket-score