|Men’s Hundred, Emirates Old Trafford
|London Spirit 142-6 (100 balls): Rossington 46 (29), Morgan 22* (16); Hartley 3-27
|Manchester Originals 136-9 (100 balls): Ackermann 53 (40); Wheal 4-17, Cullen 2-19
|London Spirit won by six runs
London Spirit won their first match of the men’s Hundred by beating Manchester Originals in an entertaining tie at a packed Old Trafford.
In a match which was live on BBC Two, Spirit – who were already out of the competition – posted 142-6 with Adam Rossington hitting a quickfire 46 from 29 balls and captain Eoin Morgan unbeaten on 22 off 16 deliveries.
In response, Originals were reeling at 21-3 but Colin Ackermann’s 53 off 40 balls led the home side’s recovery.
With nine needed from five deliveries, Spirit debutant Brad Wheal – who took a brilliant 4-17 – held his nerve with some fine death bowling.
Originals remain fifth in the table and one point away from the top-three qualification places, with Spirit still bottom, despite the win.
Youngsters shine for Spirit
With the pressure off and no need to play for points or qualification, Spirit handed a first game to Wheal and the 24-year-old took the opportunity with both hands.
Among his four wickets were dangerous opener Phil Salt and top-scorer Ackermann.
But even more impressive was his ability to bowl dot balls; as Originals were unable to score from 14 of his 19 deliveries.
Meanwhile another young Spirit seamer had a day to remember.
Blake Cullen’s figures of 1-32 may not stand out on paper, but the 19-year-old displayed great maturity during a fierce battle with Originals’ Carlos Brathwaite.
Having already been dispatched for three sixes by the West Indian, Cullen repaid the faith shown in him by his captain by dismissing the big-hitting batsman when Originals needed just 11 from eight balls.
This inaugural season of The Hundred may be one to forget for Spirit, but there will be plenty of positives for this young side to build on for next year.
Celebrate good times
Matt Parkinson is a superb leg-spinner – as illustrated by his 2-18 off 20 deliveries – but is not necessarily the first name that comes to mind when thinking of the game’s top fielders.
But when he leaped in the air at short fine-leg and took a one-handed catch at full stretch, the whole of Old Trafford was on its feet.
Parkinson himself couldn’t quite believe what happened either.
The Bolton-born 24-year-old ran aimlessly around the field, trying to evade his team-mates while whirling his arm.
Catch of the tournament? It might well be.
Celebration of the tournament? Birmingham Phoenix’s hat-trick taking hero Imran Tahir may have something to say about that.
What does a cheetah, a moderate hurricane and Reliant Robin car have in common? They are all slower than Originals bowler Lockie Ferguson.
In his 20-ball spell, the New Zealander bowled the fastest ball of the tournament three times.
His quickest delivery was clocked at an astonishing 93.7 miles, while he unearthed Mohammad Nabi’s middle stump with a ball that reached 93.1 miles per hour.
With two more games remaining, don’t be surprised if Ferguson continues to break his own record.