Recent Match Report – Spirit vs Originals Eliminator 2022


Manchester Originals 151 for 5 (Evans 72) beat London Spirit 150 for 7 (McDermott 59, Walter 3-29) by five wickets

Laurie Evans blasted a phenomenal 72 off 34 balls to send Manchester Originals to the Hundred final on Saturday evening, after they beat London Spirit by five wickets.

Opening batter Evans, who replaced the injured Jos Buttler as captain of the Originals, got his side off to a flier in response to Spirit’s 150, with a 101-run stand with Phil Salt.

But a wobble led by Mason Crane and Nathan Ellis – two for 35 and two for 31 respectively – gave Eoin Morgan’s men hope but Ashton Turner and Tom Lammonby got Originals over the line with 11 balls to spare.

Originals will now hot-foot it up the M3 to face Trent Rockets at Lord’s at 6:30pm on Saturday.

After Adam Rossington fell to the second ball of the match, Ben McDermott and Zak Crawley got the innings rolling with a 69-run stand after Spirit at chosen to bat first.

McDermott, who played for Hampshire in the Blast, was imperious from ball two, which he thrashed over the square boundary before bashing through cover next ball.

Crawley was bowled by Walter for 36 from 23 balls, to be replaced by Dan Lawrence, but McDermott kicked into the next gear as he guided a boundary through deep third to bring up a 33-ball fifty – his 59 one shy of his best for his county on this ground.

Just as an enormous total was brewing, the innings spluttered between balls 74 and 85, as Originals twice claimed two wickets in two balls.

First, Walter picked up McDermott with a slower ball that he launched to deep midwicket and then Eoin Morgan was caught at mid-off first ball. Ravi Bopara resolutely blocked the hat-trick ball, as Walter ended up with figures of three for 29.

Then in the following end, Matt Parkinson had Lawrence holing out before Jordan Thompson’s leading edge gave him two-in-two, but there was to be no hat-trick ball as the leg-spinner was bowled out.

Bopara starred in the final 15 balls, with a pair of sixes – the first swung square, the second a skier over long-on – to smash 34 off 16 balls. Despite Liam Dawson slapping to extra cover, Spirit reached 150 for seven.

All eyes were on how Spirit’s Hampshire-flavoured attack would defend on their county ground. Between Chris Wood, Crane, Dawson and Ellis, they have played 165 T20/Hundred games at the Ageas Bowl – taking 163 wickets in the process.

Evans, who has his own T20 history on the ground with two half-centuries, didn’t care for ‘home’ advantage. He’d already struck four of his first eight balls to the boundary before slog-sweeping sweetly into the stands.

Another six over long-on, followed by a scampered two, took him to a 19-ball fifty – his first of the tournament.

Salt had largely done his best to stay out of Evans’ way, but took centre stage when he took Crane downtown, only for Evans to hit back with a six of his own off Dawson.

The 101-run opening stand ended with ball 50 when Dawson had Salt caught-and-bowled, and two balls later, Evans swept Crane to deep square leg. In the following set, Walter drove firmly to cover off Ellis.

Ellis then yorked Wayne Madsen, after a period of squeeze, and Crane induced Tristan Stubbs into a squirt to point, to take the equation to 18 off 20 balls.

But Turner and Lammonby made sure they booked their place in the showpiece without any more worries.


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