John Simpson guided Northern Superchargers (NOS) to their first victory in the Hundred after a thrilling six-wicket win over Oval Invincibles (OVI). With 11 to get from the final five deliveries, the wicketkeeper-batsman hit a boundary off the first ball and hammered the next delivery into the stands, much to the excitement of the Headingley crowd. Chris Lynn and Harry Brook shone with the bat, while Adil Rashid broke through the Oval Invincibles’ middle-order.
Oval Invincibles, who handed a debut to Tabraiz Shamsi, won the toss and elected to bat first. David Willey and Matty Potts bowled a tight first set of five as the visitors managed just four runs from the first ten balls. Three balls later, right-handed Will Jacks nicked the ball to Simpson.
Sunil Narine came at No.3 and went into the attacking mode immediately. He hit three sixes in seven balls, but Mujeeb Ur Rahman removed the all-rounder in the 33rd ball. Colin Ingram didn’t stay for long after he holed out to deep cover. Oval Invincibles lost their fourth wicket when Matty Potts cleaned up Sam Billings for 3.
Jason Roy stood tall and kept the scorecard ticking. However, Rashid’s twin strike left them reeling at 60/6. The onus was on Roy and Tom Curran to steer their side to a decent total. The duo added an unbeaten 67 for the seventh wicket, with Roy registering his maiden fifty in the Hundred. The opening batsman scored 16 off the last three balls to finish on 127/6.
The home side began the run-chase cautiously. Curran struck in his first ball and sent Adam Lyth back to the pavilion. Northern Superchargers were two down when Saqib Mahmood cleaned up Willey. Brook joined Lynn, and both of them wrested control of the match from the bowlers. The Yorkshire batsman put the bad balls away and scored a six off Shamsi to bring up the 50 partnership.
A match-winning 47* ✅
Top of the run charts ✅
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) July 31, 2021
With 31 needed from 21 balls, Northern Superchargers lost Lynn and debutant Dane Vilas in the space of three balls. Narine dismissed Lynn, while Mahmood got the wicket of the South African. Suddenly, the match tilted in favor of Oval Invincibles. Brook and new man Simpson struggled to find gaps, and they required 11 runs off the final five balls.
Billings threw the ball to Curran, who gave away a wide in the first ball. Simpson scored a four and a six in the next two deliveries to end Northern Superchargers’ wait for a first win in the tournament.
NOS 127/6 in 100 balls (J Roy 52*, T Curran 34*; A Rashid 3/13)
OVI 128/4 in 97 balls (C Lynn 48, H Brook 47*; S Mahmood 2/19)
Player of the Match
Oval Invincibles were 42/2 in 35 balls when Rashid came into the attack. But, 40 deliveries later, after the Englishman completed his quota, the scorecard read 71/6. He picked up three crucial wickets and ended their hopes of posting a challenging total. It was one of the finest match-winning performances by a bowler in the tournament.
Top Fantasy XI
A Rashid (85 pts), T Curran (72 pts), J Roy (72 pts), H Brook (66 pts), S Narine (63 pts), S Mahmood (58 pts), C Lynn (57 pts), M Potts (45 pts), J Simpson (34 pts), M Ur Rahman (29 pts), B Carse (29 pts)
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