Sam Curran held his nerve after a potentially crucial no-ball as Oval Invincibles edged London Spirit by two runs in a last-ball thriller to extend their lead at the top of the men’s Hundred table to four points.
Curran overstepped bowling what should have been the final delivery of the game, leaving Spirit requiring three from the final ball to overhaul Invincibles’ total of 189-4 at The Kia Oval.
But the England seamer then bowled Chris Wood with a superb yorker off the resulting free hit as Spirit finished on 187-7 in a cracker of a London derby that featured 22 sixes across the two innings.
Thrilling end to Invincibles vs Spirit
- Ball 96 – One run for Chris Wood
- Ball 97 – Two runs for Matt Critchley
- Ball 98 – Six for Critchley over backward square
- Ball 99 – Two for Critchley as Ross Whiteley makes stunning six save
- Ball 100 – No-ball by Sam Curran
- Ball 100 Version Two! – Curran bowls Wood
Oval Invincibles – 189-4 from 100 balls: Will Jacks (68 off 42); Heinrich Klaasen (46no off 24); Sam Curran (35 off 17); Daryl Mitchell (2-16), Nathan Ellis (2-36)
London Spirit – 187-7 from 100 balls: Adam Rossington (61 off 32), Matt Critchley (32no off 13); Will Jacks (2-22), Adam Zampa (2-24)
Spirit’s Matt Critchley (32no off 13) fired the final maximum of the night, hauling Curran over the leg-side to cut his team’s requirement to eight from two balls, but was then denied another six as Ross Whiteley pulled off a stunning one-handed save at deep midwicket.
Curran sent down a no-ball next up with Spirit needing six for victory but the visitors only ran one when Critchley drove the bowler to long-off, believing at the time that the game was done.
That left Wood on strike for the re-bowled final delivery and he had his stumps splattered as Invincibles moved to nine points from six games and Spirit were left on four from five, although that is only one point off the top three as things stand.
Jacks smacks fifty in London derby
Will Jacks had earlier fired with bat and ball for Invincibles, cracking four maximums in his 68 off 42 balls and then taking two wickets with his off-spin in the space of three balls.
The England man’s double strike – Adam Rossington (61 off 32) and Michael Pepper (0 off 2) the Spirit players to fall – came amid the visitors slipping from 94-0 to 96-3 in six deliveries, at which point the requirement for the away side was 94 from 45 deliveries.
Cameos from Dan Lawrence (24), Matthew Wade (19) and Critchley kept Spirit in the game and they needed 17 heading into Curran’s final set of five deliveries.
A single for Wood and a two for Critchley kicked things off – and then carnage followed.
Jacks was backed up with the bat for Invincibles by Heinrich Klaasen (46no off 24), Curran (35 off 17) and Jason Roy (23 off 18), while Australia spinner Adam Zampa also picked up two wickets for the hosts in the Spirit run chase.
New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell (2-16) and Nathan Ellis (2-36) shared four wickets for Spirit, with Ellis on a hat-trick in the final over of the Invincibles innings after having Curran pouched on the boundary and then nicking off Whiteley (0) first ball.
Spirit batter Rossington subsequently bossed his 94-run opening stand with Zak Crawley (19), nailing four sixes and six fours, before he was pinned lbw on the reverse sweep by Jacks, three balls after Crawley had been bowled by a Curran slower ball.
The Hundred continues on Wednesday, from The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, as Southern Brave take on Birmingham Phoenix live on Sky Sports.
The women’s game is up first (2.30pm on air, 3pm start) as a Brave side pushing for a top-three spot face rock-bottom Phoenix. Watch live on Sky Sports The Hundred, Sky Sports Mix or via a free stream on Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
The men’s match follows (6pm on air, 6.30pm start) with Brave and Phoenix both in play-off contention, despite the fact Phoenix prop up the table.
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