The Hundred: Southern Brave hold nerve to beat London Spirit by four runs

By Adam WilliamsBBC Sport
The Hundred, Lord's
Southern Brave women 97-3 (S Taylor 29*) beat London Spirit women 93 (Beaumont 34; Wellington 4-14) by seven wickets Scorecard;Table
Southern Brave men 145-6 (Davies 50) beat London Spirit men 141-7 (Inglis 55, Rossington 45; Garton 2-30) by four runs Scorecard;Table

Southern Brave held their nerve with the ball and in the field to beat London Spirit by four runs in a thrilling men's Hundred match at Lord's.

Adam Rossington's blistering 45 off 21 balls and 55 from Josh Inglis seemed set to give Spirit their first win as they chased 146.

But superb death bowling from Chris Jordan (2-32) and some brilliant fielding from Quinton de Kock edged Brave home for a second win in as many matches.

It means Spirit are still without a win from four games, while their men's head coach Shane Warne and another member of team management were forced to self-isolate after returning positive Covid-19 lateral flow tests.

Alex Davies had top-scored with 50 off 40 balls for Brave in their total of 145-6.

Earlier, Southern Brave women continued their perfect start to the competition with a fourth win from four as they convincingly beat London Spirit by seven wickets.

Amanda-Jade Wellington's 4-14 helped Brave bowl Spirit out for just 93 before Stafanie Taylor's unbeaten 29 guided them to victory with eight balls to spare.

Jordan keeps cool in pressure moment

Defeat for London Spirit leaves them bottom of the men's table with just one point from a no result against Oval Invincibles to show for their efforts so far.

After racing to 68-0 off 25 balls in the powerplay thanks to Rossington's five fours and two sixes, they seemed destined to get off the mark and even more so with just 31 needed off 30 balls with six wickets in hand.

Brave's hopes of pulling off a victory seemed even more unlikely when they failed to make the cut-off time for starting their last set of balls with still seven to bowl.

That left both Tymal Mills and Jordan having to bowl with one fewer fielder outside the inner circle with 12 to win. But the England internationals showed all their short-form nous, backed up by some terrific fielding, to secure a pulsating win as Spirit failed to find a way across the finish line.

De Kock the bravest of the Brave

As well as Mills, Jordan and George Garton's sterling efforts with the ball for Southern Brave, De Kock's world-class wicketkeeping skills also helped them edge to victory.

His acrobatic one-handed catch to dismiss Inglis off Jordan with 18 runs still needed off 14 balls gave Brave the belief they could win and he was in action once again to run out Blake Cullen with a direct hit off the penultimate ball.

On top of his efforts with the gloves, the South African also made 27 off 14 balls at the top of the innings with two fours and two sixes to underline his importance to James Vince's side.

Davies' 'workmanlike' 50 sets up Brave win

Alex Davies appeared to have fortune on his side on his way to a half-century from 39 balls for Brave.

The Warwickshire-bound right-hander survived both losing control of his bat and being dropped on four at fine leg by Chris Wood as he was busy between the wickets turning ones into two at the back end of the innings.

Alongside his five fours, he also had another moment of good fortune on 39 when a Mohammad Amir yorker looked to have clipped the outside of his off stump but failed to dislodge the bails.

His work was not done there for the night though, as he took two crucial catches in the field to dismiss Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Nabi as Spirit's run-chase faltered.

Wellington flies the flag in matchwinning display

In the women's match, Southern Brave all-rounder Wellington had a day to savour with her 4-14 and the direct hit run out of London Spirit opener Naomi Dattani.

Australia international Wellington is among a small representation in this competition from her country after many withdrew from their original contracts due to a combination of personal reasons and Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Carla Rudd stumps Deepti Sharma first ball
Southern Brave wicketkeeper Carla Rudd claimed three stumpings including London Spirit's Deepti Sharma first ball

The 24-year-old leg-spinner has taken eight wickets so far in Brave's four wins and found valuable support from fellow slow bowlers Fi Morris and Taylor, who made up for conceding 25 runs in wides.

"I thought we bowled really well as a unit," Wellington said. "We came back really well to restrict them to under 100 and I couldn't be prouder of the girls.

"I'm just really focused on trying to perform as well as I can for the team and hopefully we can keep up the consistency we're showing and go a long way in this competition."

Next up for leaders Brave is a trip to Old Trafford to face winless Manchester Originals while London Spirit will hope to bounce back as soon as Tuesday when they host second-placed Northern Superchargers at Lord's.

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