Southern Brave win place in Hundred final

Southern Brave 13-6 beat Trent Rockets 132-7 by two runs

Georgia Adams set up a rematch of the 2021 Hundred final with an all-round master class as Southern Brave nervily booked their place in the Lord’s showpiece tomorrow (Saturday 3 September) at Trent Rockets’ expense.

Middle-order batter and off-spinner Adams got Brave to a competitive score with an exhilarating 38 off 24 to get her side to 134, having looked unlikely to reach three figures at one point.

She then picked up two for 15 and Tahlia McGrath two for 11 as Trent Rockets only managed to reach 132 – despite Nat Sciver’s 72 not out which took the game to the wire.

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Brave, who won by two runs, will be out for revenge against Oval Invincible in the final after being bowled out for 73 last year.

Rockets lost by 10 wickets in the group stage game between the two sides but enjoyed a much better start as they picked up Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley in the first end, the former for her second duck in succession.

Smriti Mandhana picked up a trio of boundaries but she edged Nat Sciver to short third. Brave’s big three batters, who had scored about two thirds of their runs in the competition, were all out inside 30 balls having been stuck in.

It needed the middle order to fire and, slowly, they did. Australian Tahlia McGrath – who had only scored 19 runs in her four innings so far – steadied things with 31 off 29 balls, having square driven her first ball to the boundary.

She put on 34 with Maia Bouchier before failing to clear wide long-off. Then Georgia Adams joined Bouchier to accelerate with a 43-run stand.

Bouchier crashed Katherine Brunt twice through the off-side before heaving Georgia Davis through wide-on to move to 29 and her best score of the tournament.

Adams was even more vicious in her ball striking, after Bouchier had departed, bonking a straight six off Alana King and another dropped into the boundary sponge by Brunt to smash 38 off 30 balls – although she was caught off the final ball by Brunt.

In reply, Elyse Villani and Bryony Smith ticked off runs at a run-a-ball. Smith survived a drop at mid-wicket but things seemed much less frenetic than the Brave innings.

That all changed with the 38th delivery as Rockets collapsed. First, Adams knocked back Smith’s middle stump with her off-spin.

Then McGrath picked up Villani paddling to short fine and Mignon du Preez with a reactionary caught and bowled, to her own disbelief, in the same end. The team in yellow slumped from 40 without loss to 45 for three.

Marie Kelly picked out long on to hand Adams her second wicket, King was castled by fellow Aussie leggie Amanda-Jade Wellington and Molly Strano brilliantly ran out Brunt. But Sciver was the major piece still left in the puzzle.

She was dropped at mid-off on eight and had a stumping missed on 11 but tucked into any poor balls. She clubbed Lauren Bell, Wellington and McGrath for sixes over the long-on boundary.

Her fifty came in 29 balls but her best was still to come. With 20 required from the final five balls she hit two, then swatted McGrath for three sixes in a row over wide long-on. But with four needed off the final ball she could only hit straight at mid-off.

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