The Hundred: Manchester Originals men beat Welsh Fire to avenge women's defeat

By Matthew HenryBBC Sport
The Hundred, Cardiff
Welsh Fire women (124-1, Matthews 71*) beat Manchester Originals women (120-6 Ecclestone 31, Kaur 26) by nine wickets Scorecard. Table
Welsh Fire men (150-6, Du Plooy 43) beaten by Manchester Originals men (153-3, Clarke 58) by seven wickets Scorecard. Table

Manchester Originals' men avenged Welsh Fire's victory over their women's team earlier in the day with a seven-wicket win in Cardiff.

Chasing 151 against the previously unbeaten Fire, the Originals were cruising after a dominant opening stand of 94 between Joe Clarke and Phil Salt.

Clarke was out for a brutal 58 from 31 balls and Salt dismissed for 30 from 26 balls as Fire pushed for an unlikely comeback win.

But Colin Munro hit a calm 27-ball 33 to see the Originals home with five balls to spare - a win which moves Manchester above Fire into second in the table.

In the earlier game, Fire earned their first win of the women's competition with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory.

Defeat leaves Originals winless from four games at the halfway stage and already struggling to reach the latter stages.

Batting first they were boosted by Sophie Ecclestone's 31 from 15 balls at the end of their innings which lifted them to 120-6.

But West Indies international Hayley Matthews made that total look well below par, hitting 71 from 50 balls at the top of the order as Welsh Fire won with 12 balls to spare.

Solid Originals make blistering start

Manchester Originals, after defeat in the tournament's opening game, are quietly looking a solid side.

Leus du Plooy's 43 and 30 not out from Matt Critchley had helped Fire score 79 from their last 40 balls and post 150-6. It looked a decent enough total.

But in Clarke and Salt - both highly-rated batters aged 25 and 24 respectively - Originals have an exciting opening partnership, even after Jos Buttler's departure for England duty.

Clarke was the more imposing figure here and hit four fours and four sixes with technically sound but powerful strokes.

"We talk about the modern player being able to hit all around the ground but are just seeing orthodox hard cricket shots," former England captain Michael Vaughan commented on BBC Two.

In Munro, a 34-year-old who has played 122 times for New Zealand, they also have an experienced, calming figure in the middle order.

With 19 needed from the last 14 balls he hit his international team-mate Jimmy Neesham over his shoulder for six with an unorthodox scoop before cracking two fours soon after to secure the win.

Matthews the latest opener to impress

The women's Hundred so far has been all about the opening batters.

First there was Jemimah Rodrigues' 92 not out for Northern Superchargers, then 16-year-old Alice Capsey's 59 at Lord's, Rachel Priest's 76 for Trent Rockets and on Friday Danni Wyatt hit 69 not out in a win for Southern Brave.

We can now add Hayley Matthews' name to that list.

She scored 30 and 33 in Fire's opening two games in a steady start to the competition but in this game really caught light.

The 23-year-old hit four fours in the opening 10 balls of the innings and never looked back. She hit a picture-perfect six over extra cover and sealed the win with a powerful, textbook on-drive back past the bowler.

The win takes Fire into sixth and with Matthews, highly-rated ever since hitting 66 off 45 balls as an 18-year-old to lead West Indies to victory in the 2016 T20 World Cup final, they will stand a chance going forward.

Sloppy Originals struggling

After Matthews hit the winning runs, Manchester skipper Kate Cross brought her team together in a huddle, seemingly in an attempt to boost morale. Cross admitted afterwards the youthful dressing room was "pretty flat".

They have three defeats and one washed-out no result from their four games.

With the bat they looked one-paced. Harmanpreet Kaur scored 26 but took 32 balls to do so. Without Ecclestone's late burst - she hit the last two deliveries for four - they would have been even further short.

With the ball they were similarly disappointing, looking largely toothless.

They did not help themselves in the field either, dropping Matthews on 49 and 54 - albeit tough chances.

There was also a missed run-out opportunity and Laura Jackson had Redmayne caught at deep extra cover, only for the delivery to be ruled a no ball as it reached the batter above waist height.

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