Comment & Analysis
Sam Billings made an unbeaten 40 as the Oval Invincibles returned to winning ways with victory over Welsh Fire on home soil; Tom Curran also impresses with figures of 3-29, after Ben Duckett earlier struck 65 for the visitors
Last Updated: 02/08/21 11:04pm
The Oval Invincibles returned to winning ways with a convincing victory over Welsh Fire in front of a partisan packed house at the Oval, to leapfrog their opponents in the standings…
STORY OF THE MATCH
Following a bright start, Welsh Fire were reeling following two wickets in as many balls – the first saw Tom Banton (2) succumb in cheap fashion to Reece Topley (1-14 off 15), before Josh Cobb (12) was run out in innocuous fashion at the non-striker’s end.
The Invincibles’ spin duo of Sunil Narine (0-19 off 20) and Tabraiz Shamsi (1-22 off 20) controlled proceedings midway through the innings, although Ben Duckett (65) provided the impetus with a captain’s knock for the Fire.
The visitors were building momentum before Tom Curran (3-29 off 20) removed Leus du Plooy (17) and Jimmy Neesham in successive deliveries, yet despite being starved of the strike, Duckett finished with a flourish as Welsh Fire posted 121.
Jason Roy (8) underlined his intent with two crunching fours off David Payne, but debutant Matt Milnes (1-28 off 20) struck with his very first ball in the competition to dismiss the England opener.
Will Jacks (20 off 9) and Narine (19 off 11) put the Invincibles firmly in command, but a flurry of wickets from Neesham (2-23 off 20) and Qais Ahmad (1-12 off 20) gave the Fire renewed hope.
However, Sam Billings lived up to his ‘finisher’ tag with an unbeaten 40 from 34 balls, before Laurie Evans (28* off 17) sealed the deal in style, registering back-to-back sixes to guide the hosts home with six wickets and seven balls to spare.
Sam Billings produced a captain’s performance during the Invincibles’ opening day victory over Manchester Originals, and he delivered with the bat once again as they returned to winning ways.
Following a disappointing batting display in their last outing against Northern Superchargers, the Invincibles stuttered midway through the innings to preserve Welsh Fire’s slender hopes, but Billings was the epitome of composure throughout.
The Invincibles skipper also produced arguably the shot of the day, driving the impressive Milnes straight back down the ground in glorious style.
😍 That is delightful 😍
Pure class from Sam Billings 👏👏#OvalInvincibles 🟢 | #WelshFire 🔴 | #TheHundred 💯
💻 YouTube 👉 https://t.co/72yhxmhfC3
📺 SS The Hundred 👉 https://t.co/N5yEvBmzDs pic.twitter.com/I7sGDY76y9
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 2, 2021
WHAT THEY SAID
Sam Billings, Oval Invincibles captain: “I think the bowlers really did well in the last game and then showed their class tonight as well, to restrict them on a really good wicket.
“It was great to get back on the board with a win, it’s been a bit of a hit and miss start with the weather, so great work in front of a home crowd.
“Our fielding is definitely a part we need to work on and put right if we want to go a long way in this tournament. It makes such a difference in this short format of the game. We’re never happy, we want to keep moving forward and we’ve got a high-class outfit to do that as well.”
Ben Duckett, Welsh Fire captain: It was an amazing evening, the crowd were insane. What a place to play. We were obviously gutted we didn’t get over the line, though.
“We were definitely short [of runs]. We knew that. We lost wickets throughout the innings and I didn’t feel like I could have kicked on out there. I felt like we had to keep rebuilding and there was never any momentum.
“I’m so proud of the lads to fight right until the end out there, to take it that close when we were probably 20 short of par. We’re still learning. I’m new as a captain. I really enjoyed it tonight. It was tough and I enjoyed trying to be a little bit more aggressive than we were in the last game.”
Spirit vs Superchargers
August 3, 2021, 2:30pm
Spirit vs Superchargers
August 3, 2021, 6:00pm
We remain in the capital for Tuesday’s double-header, as London Spirit take on the Northern Superchargers at Lord’s.
The women’s match is live on the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel, plus Sky Sports The Hundred, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event from 2.30pm, with the Superchargers bidding to maintain their unbeaten start.
The men’s meeting follows at 6pm on Sky Sports The Hundred, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event, with Eoin Morgan’s London Spirit still searching for their first victory.
Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports between now and August 21.
Source : Sky Sports