18 Aug 2022 | The Hundred - Women's Competition 2022
Southern Brave Women
127 for 8
Manchester Originals Women
136 for 5
Southern Brave Women win by 9 runs

Words by Alex Smith, ECB Reporters Network

Amanda Jade Wellington picked up three wickets as Southern Brave pulled off a heist to beat Manchester Originals by nine runs and maintain their 100 per cent record.

Originals looked on course for victory while chasing 136 thanks to Emma Lamb’s 57 – but Brave pulled things back in style.

Australian Wellington picked up Lizelle Lee, Deandra Dottin and Sophie Ecclestone before superb death bowling from Lauren Bell and Anya Shrubsole saw Brave take six wickets for just 24 runs in the last 22 deliveries.

Brave stay top of the table with three wins from three, while Originals face an uphill task to qualify with just one win from three.

Having been put in, Brave looked set for a gargantuan total after Smriti Mandhana's 43 from 25 balls and Danni Wyatt had put on 64 in the first 43 balls but were pegged back on a slowing used pitch.

Mandhana was the main bludgeoner. She set the tone by pulling the second ball of the innings to the boundary before tucking into New Zealander Lea Tahuhu. She started by clearing the LED boards with a straight six before a guiding to third, flailing over cover and pulling for four successive boundaries.

She also took on Sophie Ecclestone by taking her for four over mid-off, six high over wide long on before skipping down the wicket and gliding the ball over the covers.

Kate Cross needed to haul in Mandhana and brought herself back on to bang the ball in short and find the Indian picking out deep square leg.

That began a period of Originals dominance, which saw three-wickets fall in 21 balls, with just 17 runs coming. Wyatt was next to depart having entertained with 31 from 24 balls when Sophie Ecclestone bowled her.

Like her team Ecclestone started expensively with 23 runs coming off her first 11 deliveries, but classily came back with her other nine balls only going for nine runs. She would also dismiss Sophia Dunkley at long on.

Hannah Jones was also key to the squeeze, pinning Tahlia McGrath leg before, while ending with 1-18. Dunkley, who survived a run out and a drop, and Maia Bouchier ticked along to put on 33, before Freya Kemp dropped her customary six to accelerate the end of the innings with 21 coming off the last 12 balls.

The powerplay was also profitable for Originals, with 40 coming to Brave’s 42.

Lee put Georgia Adams away through square before slog-sweeping a six, and continued by chipping Anya Shrubsole over midwicket. She perished after a 16-ball 25 when a leading edge off leggie Wellington fell in mid-off Mandhana’s hands.

Wellington gained a second scalp when Deandra Dottin looped one back at her but the run-rate

Lamb’s approach was low risk, low stress, taking singles, putting away a pair of poor Freya Kemp deliveries but did pump Wellington down the ground for six in a rare moment of aggression.

Ami Campbell was caught at extra cover, Sophie Ecclestone skied Wellington to mid-off, Tahuhu was run out and Lamb drilled to cover – having reached a 39-ball half-century - as the runs dried up and the wheels began to fall off.

Nineteen were needed from the last 10-ball end but with Kate Cross mishitting to mid-off and Cordelia Griffith run out at the non-striker's end, they ended up nine runs short.

Southern Brave bowler Amanda-Jade Wellington

"We kept our nerve at the end. Our bowlers did a great job."

"Throughout our innings, we saw the ball was gripping and turning quite a lot, so we told our bowlers to use slower balls early on. Giving the ball a bit of flight is what I do best. On a tricky wicket like that, it was hard to generate pace"

"The way Smriti (Mandhana) and Danni (Wyatt) batted set it up really nicely for us. We were probably looking towards 140 or 150, but with our bowling attack we knew that was a score we could defend."

"Smriti just plays her game, no matter what the pitch is doing, and that's what makes her so successful"

"It was electrifying at the end, and great to see a sea of green."