|Women’s Hundred, Lord’s|
|Trent Rockets 151-4 (100 balls): Priest 76 (42), Sciver 32 (16); Davies 1-19|
|London Spirit 132-7 (100 balls): Knight 31 (25), Dottin 29 (19); Higham 2-15|
|Trent Rockets won by 18 runs|
Trent Rockets picked up their first win in the women’s Hundred with an 18-run victory against London Spirit, hitting the highest score in the competition so far in the process.
Rockets made 151-4 with opener Rachel Priest smashing 76 off 42 balls and captain Nat Sciver making a blistering 16-ball 32.
Priest, who was dropped on 44, hit 64 of her runs in boundaries as she dominated the Spirit bowlers in front of 10,579 fans at Lord’s.
Spirit lost regular wickets throughout, despite a couple of dropped catches by Rockets, to finish on 132-7.
London Spirit sit fifth and Trent Rockets sixth in the eight-team table.
The same two teams meet in the men’s competition at 18:30 BST.
‘Today was see ball, hit ball’
Priest was a late replacement for Trent Rockets, with their initial Australian overseas players pulling out of the tournament, and it is fair to say she hadn’t quite come to the party in her first two games.
In the interval, Priest, who retired from New Zealand duty 13 months ago, said she is a “notoriously slow starter” at franchise tournaments, and with two scores of four so far, this was her real introduction.
She hit three early fours, before a belligerent, brutal, and utterly sensational spell of opening batting started when South Africa all-rounder Chloe Tryon came into the attack.
A leg-side full toss was clubbed over the square-leg boundary, another was smacked over mid-wicket, before a beautiful steer through point.
More followed off Heather Knight, before a tough opportunity was dropped on 44 by Tammy Beaumont, off Danielle Gibson, who was diving forward at deep mid-wicket.
The drop cost Spirit another 32 runs, as Priest continued her assault, hitting cleanly through the leg side and down the ground to edge towards the tournament’s first century, before an excellent Beaumont catch saw her dismissed for the second-highest score in the women’s competition so far.
“It was really nice to get some runs,” said Priest. “I was a bit scrambled in the first couple of games, and today was about see ball and hit ball.”
‘What we call a sitter’
Rockets’ margin of victory may have been greater if they had taken a couple of the opportunities that were presented.
Knight was dropped at deep square-leg on 10 by Lucy Higham, and it was a chance that should have been taken.
Just nine balls later, an even bigger opportunity was missed, with Deandra Dottin dropped at point by Abi Freeborn.
Chris Green, the Middlesex-all-rounder speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, said the chance was “what we call a sitter”.
Those two drops, added to Beaumont’s earlier, alongside some poor misfields, were low points, but Rockets gradually improved, with Kathryn Bryce and Emily Windsor taking good diving catches, at fine leg and deep square leg respectively, to dismiss Deepti Sharma and Tryon.
Are Spirit utilising Gibson properly?
Danielle Gibson has been one of the stars for London Spirit so far in the tournament.
In their opening game, she came in at nine and hit two boundaries from her first two balls to seal victory against Birmingham Phoenix.
On Sunday, she came in at seven and hit 30 off just 13 balls in a losing cause against Oval Invincibles.
And here, she was demoted back to eight and hit 18 off 12 balls, to leave her tournament record at 56 runs off just 27 balls and a strike-rate of 207.48.
Is she batting too low?