The Men’s Hundred 2021: Oval Invincibles beat Manchester Originals by 9 runs
The Men’s Hundred 2021: Oval Invincibles beat Manchester Originals by 9 runs at the Kia Oval tonight.
Oval Invincibles (Men) vs Manchester Originals (Men), 1st Match, The Hundred Men's Competition
Oval Invincibles (Men) 145/8 (20 ov)
Manchester Originals (Men) 136/7 (20 ov)
Result - Oval Invincibles (Men) won by 9 runs.
Sam Billings lead a solid all-round team performance as Oval Invincibles beat Manchester Originals by 10 runs to get the men’s Hundred tournament off to an entertaining start.
Invincibles captain Billings hadn’t played for over two weeks due to a positive Covid test but returned with a classy 49.
The home side set 145 in front of 18,126 at a balmy Kia Oval but despite West Indian Carlos Brathwaite and Calvin Harrison’s 53-late run partnership fell short.
It means that both Invincibles squads leave the capital with opening day victories over Originals, following the women’s exciting five wicket victory on Wednesday.
Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, Invincibles slid to 48 for four, recovered thanks mainly to Billings and then lost wickets again at the end of the innings.
They attempted to utilise Sam Curran and then Sunil Narine as pinch hitters – the former somewhat worked as he smashed Tom Hartley for a huge six but was bowled next ball, while the latter used up five balls for two runs before Fred Klaassen had him lbw.
Jason Roy struck 20 off 12 balls before slapping a full toss to deep mid-wicket, where Tom Lammonby swooped for a low catch, and Will Jacks swept straight to the boundary rider.
But Originals charge was halted by Billings’ intelligent mix of strike rotating and boundary striking, as he added 57 from 37 balls with South African Colin Ingram.
Ingram departed after an unmemorable stay and Laurie Evans lasted just two deliveries as former England quick Steven Finn went bang-bang.
The Invincibles captain successfully reviewed a caught behind decision before accelerating with two massive sixes, but fell for 49 attempting to get over the off-side ring.
Nathan Sowter was bowled although Tom Curran’s quick-fire cameo of 29 got the home side up to a creditable 145.
Phil Salt struck an ingenious Sam Curran slower ball to cover and Reece Topley had Joe Clarke caught behind with his first ball as Originals’ chase began clunkily.
A reason for the Invincibles’ early dominance with the ball was starving Jos Buttler of the strike. The England star only faced 10 balls out of the first 34 balls before he was undone with a big spinner from Narine.
Lammonby extended his arms but cuffed to cover, while Colin Munro added some impetus with 26 before he slogged to long-off.
Well-known hitter Brathwaite and lesser-known all-rounder Harrison combined to created a terrific finale by adding runs quickly – leaving Originals needing 26 from the last 10 balls.
But ultimately, they fell short after Harrison chipped to mid off for 21 and Brathwaite picked out Roy at long on for 37.
Additional reporting by Ellen McLaughlin, Hundred Rising Reporter
Two matches into the much-debated Hundred era and we can at least be certain one thing – the Oval Invincibles have so far fulfilled the brief of their moniker.
Led by captain Sam Billings the London-based team secured a double over Manchester Originals to ensure they are, ahem… invincible (so far), to start life in the 100-ball format.
After the ground-breaking success of the Invincibles’ women’s team on Thursday, tonight it was the men’s turn as they defended a total of 145 to seal a nine-run win.
Billings played a decisive captain’s role, top-scoring with 49 as his side posted what appeared a par score on a perfect summer's evening with the Kia Oval crowd rocking.
The response from Manchester was always likely to rest on the star quality of Jos Buttler, bringing all his destructive power, yet even his ability to hit boundaries and sixes was challenged by a pitch that was, without doubt, no batsman’s paradise.
The left-arm pace of Reece Topley and the mystery spin Sunil Narine headlined an attack that, on this early evidence, seemed perfectly balanced for this format and which proved beyond the visitors.
Narine teased Buttler with a sequence of balls that the England star struggled with before the pressure built and eventually the Originals’ key man chipped out.
From there the visitors could hardly escape the pressure of the home attack.
Nathan Sowter sent Tom Lammonby back to the hutch with his first ball and when Tom Curran entered the fray, his opening five balls resulted in just two singles.
Billings brought back Narine in a key match-up against fellow West Indian Carlos Brathwaite - for any England fan, the man who destroyed Ben Stokes and England in that famous World T20 final.
Knowing the big West Indian would be looking to hit big, Narine employed the technique of hiding the ball, and the required rate grew with 27 runs needed from the final 10 balls.
The loudest cheer of the night from the home crowd then followed when Braithwaite, now desperately in search of his World T20 heroics, could only find Jason Roy on the boundary off the bowling of Sam Curran.
The only blemish for the Invincibles was an injury to Saqib Mahmood, who fell on his side fielding a ball, and was restricted to bowling just five balls.
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Oval Invincibles captain and batter Sam Billings, who scored 49:
“It has been a pretty deflating month getting Covid and getting pretty ill and then missing more cricket. It was nice to get back out there and play cricket.
“For me I’m just happy to be playing and this was as enjoyable as any cricket I’ve played in the past. In front of a packed crowd at the Oval, it doesn’t get much better than that.
“You kind of felt like the crowd was watching the cricket. It is usually more of a booze-up.
“It was a fair cricket wicket. It can play slow here at the Oval and we were aware that could be the case. Tactically it makes you think on your feet, which I think we did well today.
“We haven’t batted fully to our capabilities but we still got up to a winning score.”
Manchester Originals head coach Simon Katich:
“I thought we did a lot of things very well today. It is disappointing to lose but the way we started with our young player doing a good job.
“We were only a couple of bits away from it going our way but that happens sometimes.
“We talked about taking the game deep and we lost a couple of wickets in the middle to give ourselves a chance at the end.
“We know how dangerous he [Carlos Brathwaite] is at the end of an innings and how bowlers can get nervous. I thought he batted wonderfully tonight as the wicket slowed up. He kept us in the contest with Calvin Harrison, but it wasn’t to be tonight.”
Oval Invincibles Men - Jason Roy, Will Jacks, Colin Ingram, Laurie Evans, Sam Billings(c)(wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Nathan Sowter, Sunil Narine, Saqib Mahmood, Reece Topley
Manchester Originals Men - Philip Salt, Jos Buttler(c)(wk), Joe Clarke, Colin Munro, Tom Lammonby, Carlos Brathwaite, Calvin Harrison, Tom Hartley, Fredrick Klaassen, Steven Finn, Matthew Parkinson
Start Time: 18:30
Toss: Manchester Originals Men won the toss and decided to field
Venue: Kia Oval, London
Officials: David Millns, Martin Saggers, Nigel Llong, Russell Warren, Dean Cosker
©Cricket World 2021