Invincibles cling on to beat Spirit in thriller

invincibles-cling-on-to-beat-spirit-in-thriller
The Hundred men’s competition, Kia Oval
Oval Invincibles 189-4 (100 balls): Jacks 68 (42), Klaasen 46* (24); Mitchell 2-16
London Spirit 187-8 (100 balls): Rossington 61 (32), Critchley 32* (13); Jacks 2-22
Oval Invincibles won by two runs
Scorecard. Table

Oval Invincibles held their nerve to beat London Spirit by two runs amid last-ball drama in The Hundred.

The Spirit needed six to win from the last delivery but although Matt Critchley could only hit a single, they got a second chance when Sam Curran was shown to have bowled a no-ball.

With three to win and two to tie for Spirit, Curran bowled Chris Wood and secured a thrilling win.

Victory moves Invincibles four points clear at the top of the men’s table.

Curran’s no-ball would have been altogether more costly were it not for an incredible diving stop from Ross Whiteley to deny Critchley six when the previous ball looked to be sailing over the rope.

Critchley kept Spirit in the contest with some brutal late hitting as he scored 32 not out off 13, but was left at the non-striker’s end for the replayed final delivery, having only jogged a single off what he thought was the last ball.

Invincibles move to nine points, ahead of a group of five teams, led by Northern Superchargers, on five points, with the Spirit a further point back in seventh.

With the teams so congested, Spirit can still qualify for the knockout stage despite winning just one of their first five games.

The team that finishes top of the group stage goes straight into the final, with second and third competing in an eliminator for the chance to join them.

What else do you need to know?

  • Will Jacks thumped a blistering 68 from 42 balls as the Invincibles posted 189-4 and then took two key wickets in the Spirit chase.
  • The Invincibles hit 12 sixes in their innings, with four apiece for Jacks and Heinrich Klaasen, three for Curran (35* off 17) and Jason Roy getting the other.
  • Klaasen is now the leading run-scorer in this year’s men’s Hundred with 171 in six innings. Jacks (169) had overtaken his injured team-mate Jordan Cox (168) but Klaasen went past him later in the Invincibles innings.
  • Adam Rossington got the Spirit chase off to a flying start and also bludgeoned four sixes, reaching his half-century from 22 balls.
  • However, Rossington was the third of three Spirit wickets to fall in the space of six balls – and the second in three balls for Jacks – as the Invincibles looked to have seized control.
  • Spirit captain Dan Lawrence made 24 from 11 balls but when he departed with 42 runs needed from 16 balls, the game appeared to be over before Critchley intervened to set up a stunning finale.

‘A crazy finish’ – what they said

Match Hero, Oval Invincibles’ Will Jacks: “What a crazy finish. I thought we’d won it twice, but I’m just glad we got over the line in the end.

“I knew I was going to be under the pump with the ball but I try to think like a batter in those situations, and think what would I not want to face.

“We’ll take a lot of confidence from these last two wins where we’ve defended well.”

You can watch Hundred matches on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the competition, alongside both finals on Sunday, 27 August. More details.

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