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Trent Rockets launch thanks to Nat Sciver-Brunt’s incredible 81*

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London Spirit (Kerr 36*, Gordon 2-19) were defeated by Trent Rockets (127 for 5) by five wickets.

Trent Rockets captain Nat Sciver-Brunt led her team to their first victory of the Women’s Hundred when they defeated London Spirit by five wickets at Lord’s with an unbeaten 81 from 41 balls.

With 13 balls remaining, Sciver-Brunt secured the victory with some savage hitting that proved too much for the home bowlers. She piled up nine fours and four sixes, including two consecutive maximums against Danielle Gibson.

Spirit, who is still without a victory in the competition, was held to 124 for four by the visitors’ spinners, with Kirstie Gordon getting two for 19. However, Rockets were having their own issues at 29 for three until the skipper took over and helped her team get back on track by teaming up with Fran Wilson for a partnership of 51 from 34.

After winning the toss, Rockets elected to field the home team first. Alexa Stonehouse and Naomi Dattani, two left-arm seamers, focused on bowling a line that would preserve the short boundary on the grandstand side. The first stand of 27, however, was broken by spin, as Gordon’s second delivery enticed Grace Harris to cut directly into the point fielder’s hands.

Gibson kept on thriving, setting a number of records, including a beautiful straight drive from Alana King to reach 36 from 27 before Gordon also defeated her by misfiring one to the wrong side. Heather Knight sent King to deep square leg as both the Australian all-rounder and Bryony Smith went for less than a run per ball as Spirit tried to get the slow bowlers going.

After a slow start, Amelia Kerr gained some traction during the penultimate set of five when she scooped Stonehouse for three boundaries to finish undefeated on 36. Richa Ghosh batted shrewdly for her 20 from 18.

After sending Gibson to the leg-side rail in the Rockets’ first attack, the powerful Lizelle Lee attempted to duplicate the shot three balls later but speared it to mid-on instead. But Sciver-Brunt quickly got going, punching Charlie Dean for four as the visitors advanced to 21 for one after 20 balls before an unexpected downpour stopped play.

After a 25-minute break, play resumed, and Spirit’s spinners took advantage of the situation. Dean first trapped Smith in the lead before Glenn bowled another ball that slipped on to similarly dismiss Harmanpreet Kaur.

Rockets were in trouble as a result, but the captain quickly turned the situation around. She drove Glenn twice to the fence, took 13 off five balls from Kerr and then smashed Lauren Filer for back-to-back boundaries to raise her half-century from 32.

Jo Gardner kept Sciver-Brunt company despite losing two quick wickets, scoring an undefeated 17 off of 11, and the pair amassed 23 from Grace Scrivens’ set of five, including three sixes, to help their team over the finish line.

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