Spirit too strong as Southern Brave fall short at home

London Spirit 147-6 beat Southern Brave by nine runs

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 Mason Crane 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. It meant that Ross Whiteley’s 52 wasn’t enough as Southern Brave fell nine runs short.

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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 intrigue 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 career in T20 and the Hundred.

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.

London Spirit batter Daniel Bell-Drummond said: “It’s a really good day for us, continuing our winning streak. It’s great to beat a team like this at their home ground.

“It’s my first game for the Spirit. I’ve been made to feel really welcome by the team and I was really glad to provide a contribution and help us post a competitive total.

“I just got used to the wicket. It was quite tough to start on that pitch. A lot of people found that. But I backed myself and stuck to my strengths.

“We had Hampshire’s Blast-winning bowling attack which was very helpful for us. They obviously know the ground really well. Everyone chipped in which is the sign of a good team.

“We’re just taking it game by game. We’ve had a few changes so it’s about making sure everyone in the squad is ready to perform and fingers crossed we can keep going the way we are”

Southern Brave batter Ross Whiteley said: “It’s obviously disappointing. We had a pretty tough start with the bat so rebuilding from there was always going to be tricky.

“We just lost wickets at the wrong times which didn’t give us that big partnership we were after.

“It was tricky for all the batsman to get going. You’ve got to invest a bit more time. There are a lot of Hampshire bowlers in their line-up who know how to bowl on this pitch.

“We’re in a similar position to last year, having lost two and won one, so we’ve got nothing to worry about.

“Last year we showed what happens when you get a bit of momentum going and we’ll go again on Sunday at the Oval.”

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