The Hundred: Southern Brave thrash Trent Rockets to reach Lord’s final

Trent Rockets 96 all out (91 balls) Patel 20 (21) Garton 3-18, Mills 3-8
Southern Brave 97-3 (68 balls) Vince 45* (27), De Lange 2-16
Brave win by seven wickets

Southern Brave thrashed Trent Rockets by seven wickets in the men’s Hundred eliminator to set up a final against Birmingham Phoenix at Lord’s on Saturday.

In a faultless bowling performance, the Brave’s fearsome attack bowled the Rockets out for 96 in just 91 balls.

George Garton removed the Rockets’ formidable top three while Tymal Mills also took three wickets and Chris Jordan and Craig Overton two apiece.

That total was never going to be enough and Brave romped to victory with 32 balls to spare, even with the early loss of Quinton de Kock for six.

The Brave are now on a six-match winning streak and go into the final, which begins at 18:30 BST and is live on BBC Two, possibly as favourites.

They could complete the double with their women’s side facing Oval Invincibles in the final at 15:00.

Rashid Khan
Rockets’ Afghanistan international spinner Rashid Khan played with the Afghanistan flag painted on his cheeks in light of the ongoing situation in his home country

Garton too good for Rockets’ Big Three

The whole Brave bowling performance was brilliant but it was Garton, the 24-year-old from Brighton, who had the biggest impact.

The Rockets, convincing winners when these teams met at the start of the competition, could have won after Garton removed the top three but it was never likely.

That top three is arguably the best in the competition, featuring Alex Hales, Dawid Malan and D’Arcy Short – three international players, Malan the number one ranked Twenty20 batsman in the world.

With the new ball in hand, left-arm pace bowler Garton bowled at lively pace, found a little bit of movement and was accurate. Malan, Hales and then Short had no answer:

  • Ball 11: 15-1. Good pace and accuracy to left-hander Malan and extra bit of bounce finds the edge of the bat before wicketkeeper De Kock takes the catch.
  • Ball 15: 18-2. A slower ball this time. Hales tries to force it away aggressively but gets a thin edge. Cue a big celebration from Garton.
  • Ball 25: 31-4. Shorter this time from Garton and Australian Short miscues, chipping the ball off an edge to Mills for a simple catch.

“We had something to prove after our first game against them, we performed badly,” Garton told Sky Sports.

“That’s my role, come in up top and be aggressive, put them on the back foot.”

Are Brave the favourites against Phoenix?

Garton, Mills, Jordan and Overton, who returned to the side following his release from the England squad, are an international quality bowling attack. Of the four, only Garton is yet to play for England but he has featured in white-ball squads.

Mills finished with immaculate figures of 3-8 from 16 balls with his mix of pace and deceptive slower balls.

De Kock failed on this occasion but captain James Vince finished 45 not out and opener Paul Stirling hit 31.

Attention now turns to Saturday for showpiece final against Birmingham Phoenix.

The Phoenix topped the table in the group stage but, given their form, the Brave arguably go in as favourites.

“Batting wins you games and bowling wins you tournaments,” Manchester Originals captain Carlos Brathwaite said on BBC Sounds.

“They have a bowling attack that can win this tournament. Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan are the bankers and then you have De Kock and James Vince. I can’t look past Southern Brave.”

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