Words by Alex Smith, ECB Reporters Network
London Spirit’s Hampshire Hawks bowling attack used their Ageas Bowl insider knowledge to end Southern Brave’s home domination.
Daniel Bell-Drummond had clocked 46 to help Spirit to 147 before Liam Dawson, Brad Wheal, Nathan Ellis and Brad Wheal produced the type of defence that won the Hawks the Vitality Blast earlier this summer.
Dawson, Wheal and Crane all picked up a wicket-a-piece, along with non-Hawk Jordan Thompson’s two for 32, as Ross Whiteley’s 52 wasn’t enough as Brave fell nine runs short.
Spirit are three from three in the tournament, having taken home the wooden spoon last year, while holders Brave lost their 100 per cent record at the Ageas Bowl.
The intrigued for the Brave chase was how James Vince would go against his Hawks bowling attack. That remained unanswered as another former Hampshire teammate Glenn Maxwell bowled him first ball – the unlucky 13th golden duck of his T20/Hundred career.
Brave’s start got catastrophically worse when Quinton de Kock and Alex Davies met in the middle of the pitch with the stumps broken for a clumsy run out to leave the hosts 4 for 2.
Davies got the scoreboard moving upwards with a four-six combo off Dawson, with Marcus Stoinis striking through the covers and straight before running past spinner Dawson to be stumped.
Davies departed for 36 when Crane tempted him to slog to long on, while Wheal got Tim David skewing to extra cover.
Whiteley, another Hampshire player, had quietly biffed his way to a 32-ball 50, brought up with a perfectly timed clip to the leg side but was bowled by Thompson's next ball.
Brave needed 27 runs off the last 10-ball end. But despite James Fuller pulling that down to 12 off three, Thompson had him slicing to deep point as Spirit’s 12-month turnaround continued.
Earlier, Spirit chose to bat and were indebted to Maxwell, Bell-Drummond and Kieron Pollard’s contributions to get them up to 147, eight runs shy of their female teammates’ losing total earlier in the day.
Maxwell, who survived being bowled caught behind with his review, and Bell-Drummond were joined at the crease after Adam Rossington had lifted Michael Hogan to mid-off and Zak Crawley swung to deep square leg to leave Spirit 29 for 2.
The duo’s 39 together got rolling with a pair of Maxwell fours, the first an effortless drive through the covers before opening up the offside again two balls later. He then used his upper body strength to dispatch Jacob Lintott over deep midwicket.
The Australian pumped three more boundaries before mullering straight at mid-off, with Eoin Morgan run out backing up at the non-striker’s end.
Bell-Drummond, now in a 53-run partnership with Pollard, had struggled to get going with 18 off 21 balls, and been dropped twice, albeit both very difficult chances.
The sluggish start crescendoed with five fours and a towering six over long-on before he fell for 46 off 33 balls when he was run out. In the last 13 deliveries, Jordan Thompson was yorked by Hogan with 24 runs coming.