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Daniel Sams, Lewis Gregory split six wickets as Rockets defend modest total




Trent Rockets 133 for 8 (Hain 63, Jordan 3-18) beat Southern Brave (du Plooy 29, Lewis Gregory 3-19, Sams 3-26) by six runs

Defending champions Trent Rockets kicked off their Men’s Hundred campaign with a six-run victory over 2021 winners Southern Brave in a low-scoring contest at Trent Bridge, Daniel Sams and Lewis Gregory taking three wickets each.

Sam Hain’s 63 off 39 balls rescued the Rockets from 54 for 5 with support from Imad Wasim – a last-minute substitute after Rashid Khan‘s 11th hour withdrawal – but with Chris Jordan‘s 3 for 18 the stand-out performance in a solid bowling display, 133 from 100 looked below par.

Yet, on a slow pitch that was offering the bowlers some help, it was too much for Brave, who were 41 without loss from 37 balls but lost five wickets for 32 in the next 28, a position from which they never recovered, despite some late heroics with the bat from Jordan, bowled out for 127 from 99 balls.

Asked to bat first, Rockets lost their top three batters for 25 inside the powerplay. Alex Hales miscued Craig Overton to mid-wicket and Dawid Malan sent up a steepler off the same bowler that James Vince had plenty of time to get under. In between, George Garton produced a beauty to bowl Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Neither Colin Munro nor Gregory fared any better at imposing themselves, the former skying one from Tymal Mills that was comfortably caught at mid-off, with skipper Gregory hit squarely in front by Jordan to perish for two as Rockets reached the 50-ball mark at a miserable 54 for 5. Scoring chances were generally scarce as the Brave attack kept their discipline, backed up for the most part by some excellent fielding.

Hain at last gave a subdued home crowd some excitement when Overton returned for his final set to be hit for three boundaries in a row, the middle one a falling-over scoop that carried over the rope and he and Imad were able to put together something of a recovery.

They added 78 in 49 balls – 48 of them in the last 25 – before both fell in a dramatic finale to the innings that saw Jordan run out Hain then bowl Imad and Matt Carter with his next two deliveries before Luke Wood survived the hat-trick ball.

The priority for Brave in the chase would have been to lose no early wickets and though they were merely level with Rockets for runs after their opening 25, the difference was that the wickets fallen space on the scoreboard still showed zero.

Things looked much less comfortable at halfway. Devon Conway’s top edge off Gregory pinged off his helmet to point, then Imad entered the attack with two wickets in eight balls. His first delivery did for Vince, stumped going down the pitch to one that spun away, before Finn Allen, who had looked the man most likely to carry Brave home, holed out to long-on, leaving Brave 51 for 3 from 48 balls.

As panic set in, Garton skewed Matt Carter to short fine leg and Tim David, looking to ease the pressure, picked out Hales at long-on, before another slightly freakish delivery saw James Fuller caught behind off glove and pad to leave Brave six down for 89, needing 45 from 22 balls.

Leus du Plooy was caught behind in a scoop attempt, Jordan pulled Wood for six, was dropped at short third on 16 – a gallant one-handed effort by sub fielder John Turner – but was yorked by Sams for 22 off 11 with nine needed from three before Overton was run out and Mills leg before.

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