Oval Invincibles completed a record-breaking turnaround with the bat as they beat Manchester Originals by 14 runs at Lord’s to win the men’s Hundred for the first time.
Invincibles had crumbled to 34-5 in 36 balls after being inserted with Jason Roy and Sam Curran caught behind for ducks, only for Sam’s brother Tom Curran (67no off 34) and Jimmy Neesham (57no off 33) to power an unbeaten 127 from 65 balls – the highest partnership in men’s Hundred history – as the Londoners posted 161-5.
Sam Billings’ side restricted Originals to 147-6 with Jos Buttler bowled middle stump by Danny Briggs for 11 in what was the Invincibles spinner’s first game of the summer, and the Curran brothers then impressing with the ball at the death.
Oval Invincibles – 161-5 from 100 balls: Tom Curran (67no off 34), Jimmy Neesham (57no off 33); Richard Gleeson (2-37), Paul Walter (1-20)
Manchester Originals – 141-6 from 100 balls: Max Holden (37 off 25) Jamie Overton (28no off 19); Danny Briggs (1-2), Will Jacks (2-11)
Tom (1-25 off 20 balls) shipped only nine runs from the penultimate set despite being smashed for six by Tom Hartley, while Sam (1-31 off 20 balls) limited Originals to just eight of the 23 runs they needed from the final five.
Originals suffered defeat in the final for the second year running following a two-wicket loss to Trent Rockets 12 months ago, while Invincibles made it three Hundred titles for their club overall, with the women’s team having won the competition in 2021 and 2022.
Tom Curran clinched a 26-ball half-century with a stunning six off Josh Little, uppercut over point before he held the pose, while Neesham reached his fifty from 29 deliveries as the two players engineered a dramatic revival, striking a combined six sixes and 11 fours.
Curran nailed five of Invincibles’ maximums, the last of which came off the final delivery of the innings as he flogged Pakistan quick Zaman Khan down the ground and the ball was caught by a delighted member of the groundstaff.
Neesham and Curran’s stand eclipsed the unbeaten 124 Dawid Malan and D’Arcy Short had put on for Rockets against Southern Brave in the opening edition of The Hundred in 2021.
Invincibles’ innings had previously been in tatters with Paul Stirling (5) caught off a full toss, skipper Billings (10) out to a leg-side strangle and Will Jacks (14) holing out at deep midwicket after Roy and Sam Curran edged behind for blobs – Curran bagging a second first-baller in as many games.
Invincibles’ score was one Originals would have fancied overhauling, with Buttler’s men having completed a chase of 197 to beat Brave in Saturday’s eliminator across London at The Kia Oval, a game in which Buttler creamed 82 from 46 balls.
The skipper fell cheaply in the final, as did former Invincible Laurie Evans, with the latter dismissed for one as Nathan Sowter took a tremendous juggling catch on the deep midwicket boundary.
Phil Salt (25 off 16) fired fleetingly for Originals up top and Max Holden’s 37 off 25 and Jamie Overton’s unbeaten 28 off 19 off kept the batting side in the chase as England new boy Gus Atkinson (0-47 from 20) endured an expensive evening with the ball for Invincibles.
But the Currans ensured that their side came out on top.
Curran: The Hundred has been phenomenal
Player of the Match, Tom Curran:
“I’m really pleased. The boys have done unbelievably in this tournament and I really do think we deserve that win. We weren’t in a great position [tonight].
“I tried to keep being positive, had a nice little partnership with Neesh [Jimmy Neesham], who batted beautifully.
“It was an amazing occasion. The Hundred has been absolutely phenomenal this year. I’m very happy.”
Billings: Fitting that Curran was star man
Oval Invincibles captain Sam Billings:
“I am very pleased for everyone associated with Oval Invincibles. These are the type of moments in your career that don’t come around a huge amount. Soak it all up.
“It has been a great year, we’ve played some brilliant cricket and I think it was fitting that Tom Curran was the star man – he really has been clutch in the tight moments.”