The Hundred: Nat Sciver hits 54 as Trent Rockets overcomes swing to beat Welsh Fire
|Les Cent, Cardiff|
|Welsh Fire 102 (100 bullets): B Smith 27 (16), Matthew 28 (32); H Graham 3-14, Johnson 3-24|
|Trent Rockets 103-6 (92 balls): Sciver 54, Brunt 20|
|Trent Rockets wins by four wickets|
Trent Rockets survived a late swing to secure an important four-wicket victory over Welsh Fire in the Women’s Hundred in Cardiff.
They were 82-2 to chase 103 but lost four quick wickets, including England’s Nat Sciver for 54.
But, coming in with five needed on the last 10 balls, Abigail Freeborn hit her first ball for four to complete the win with eight balls left.
They got a bit of a breather in their pursuit thanks to Sciver’s elegant shot and a polished performance on the pitch.
They knocked out their opponents for 102 – a set that included three outs and three saves.
Heather Graham took 3-14 and Sammy Jo-Johnson 3-24 – Johnson reclaiming his place as the tournament’s first wicket-taker.
The Rockets started the game fifth in the table, but now replace the Fire in fourth, tied on points with the Oval Invincibles third.
A match won on the pitch
The Rockets’ good faceoff meant they could falter with the bat and still win.
It started very early with a straight out from Sarah Bryce, who picked up the ball, turned, threw the stumps and struck straight from extra cover to ward off Georgia Redmayne.
Two more run-outs followed in the last four balls and, while the stick and stroke were below par, the pitch was precise and clinical.
There were also some good catches. Best was an effort from Sciver plunging forward to catch up with Fire Captain Sophie Luff.
Nancy Harman also held on to a tricky catch in the short third, stepping back with the ball falling over her shoulder, to fend off dangerous Hayley Matthews.
Throughout the tournament, the Rockets have held 75% of their chances, the fourth-best percentage overall. It was a very good day.
Johnson the unexpected leader
Raise the hand that had Sammy-Jo Johnson as the leading wicket taker in the Women Beyond Halfway. Not a lot!
The 28-year-old has never played for Australia and is not even her team’s most prominent player, with England’s Katherine Brunt able to claim ownership of the title.
But Johnson is a shrewd, high-performing domestic fashion designer who has been on the winning team for the last three Big Bash in Australia.
She idolized Brett Lee when she was young – Johnson had posters of the Australian fast bowler on her wall – but here she took her wickets with slower smart balls rather than Lee’s famous express rhythm.
Johnson also opens the stick and although she was absent for the duck on this occasion, she sits sixth in the tournament’s MVP ranking. His teammate Sciver is second.