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15th Match (N), Lord's, August 01, 2021, The Hundred Men's Competition
(100 balls, T:146) 141/7

Brave won by 4 runs

Player Of The Match

Chris Jordan closes out for Southern Brave as London Spirit stay winless

Tymal Mills also miserly as Spirit stumble despite highest Powerplay score of tournament

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Chris Jordan gets congratulations from his team-mates  •  Getty Images

Chris Jordan gets congratulations from his team-mates  •  Getty Images

Southern Brave 145 for 6 (Davies 50) beat London Spirit 141 for 7 (Inglis 55, Garton 2-30) by four runs
A remarkable spell of death bowling from Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan saw London Spirit fall to a third defeat in three completed games and remain the only men's team in the Hundred yet to register a win.
Spirit needed 18 runs off the last 15 balls with six wickets in hand when Jordan returned to bowl his third set of five balls, but he struck with his first - a 60mph slower ball - as Quinton de Kock took a remarkable catch diving back over his right shoulder to remove the reverse-ramping Josh Inglis for 55.
Jordan closed out his over and Mills conceded only three runs from the first three balls of his final set, but with the Brave missing the cut-off, they had to bowl the final seven with four fielders outside the 30-yard circle, rather than the usual five. Mills used his back-of-the-hand slower balls to great effect, having Mohammad Nabi caught at short extra cover to leave 11 required off five balls and finish with miserly figures of 1 for 15. He was particularly impressive bowling to the set Inglis, conceding a single run from his third set as he mixed up his speeds and lengths.
Roelof van der Merwe sat deep in his crease to thump a slower ball over the covers to leave six needed from the final three balls, but Jordan nailed three yorkers to concede only one more, with de Kock's brilliant direct hit - having whipped a glove off, MS Dhoni-style - running out Blake Cullen as he attempted to scramble a bye.
The result leaves Spirit rooted to the foot of the table with one point from four games, a result that had seemed impossible when Adam Rossington and Inglis romped to the highest Powerplay score of the competition to date (68 for 0 off 25 balls). Brave, meanwhile, have won consecutive games after starting the Hundred with back-to-back defeats, and have climbed into mid-table.
Dogged Davies
Brave scrapped up to 145 after being asked to bat first, with de Kock - who teed off for 27 off 14 balls at the top of the order - the only batter to find the boundary with any kind of regularity.
Alex Davies, who fell to the last ball of the innings for 50 off 40 balls, said at the interval that the pitch was "not as bad as I made it look" and struggled for timing throughout his innings, but accelerated well after being bogged down early on - he eked out 13 runs from his first 19 balls - and made Chris Wood's straightforward drop at fine leg when he was on 4 look like a significant moment. The pick of his shots was a frying-pan flip over Rossington's head for a scooped six off Mohammad Amir, which he later joked was the only shot he had middled all night.
The long and short of it
With one boundary significantly shorter than the other, both teams set about targeting it. Brave embraced the flexible batting line-ups Mahela Jayawardene has used to great effect with Mumbai Indians, maintaining a left-right combination for the first 89 balls of their innings, and hit seven of their first nine boundaries towards the short side.
Spirit went even further: Rossington lashed 30 off the first 11 balls he faced to remove any kind of scoring pressure in the chase, 24 of them through three fours and two sixes hit square of the wicket into the Mound Stand, with Colin de Grandhomme - a strange choice to bowl the second set of five - being punished. Rossington's transformation into 'Universe Ross' did not last beyond the 27th delivery, as he became the first of George Garton's victims in successive balls, but by that stage he had led them to the highest Powerplay score of the Hundred so far - 68 for 0 - with Inglis helping him out by flaying Mills and Jordan over the off-side ring.
Spirit squeezed
Brave's wayward start with the ball left them needing wickets through the middle phase of the innings, and Garton's two-in-two after the Powerplay exposed the Spirit's middle order which had faltered in the first two games of the competition.
They failed to hit a boundary in the 35 balls immediately after the Powerplay, with Jake Lintott particularly effective with his left-arm wristspin, and Jordan - expensive in his first over - had Ravi Bopara caught at deep backward square with a short ball when he came back for his second set. By then, he had also pulled off a lightning-quick direct hit as Eoin Morgan carelessly took on his reflexes at mid-off. "I didn't realise it was him there," he later said with a wry smile.
Inglis pulled Garton for two sixes to reach a determined half-century off 42 balls, taking the equation to 18 off 15 balls, but when his reverse-ramp fell into de Kock's outstretched glove, the picture changed significantly, and their lower-middle order failed to get them over the line.
Brave's Mumbai impression
Jayawardene's Mumbai Indians side have made a habit of starting IPL seasons slowly - they have lost their opening game for nine years in a row - but have regularly overcome early setbacks to storm up the table and end up winning the competition. His Brave side appear to be on a similar path: they were beaten in their first two outings but have now won back-to-back games and it would be no surprise to see them storm into the knockouts.
The Spirit were without their coach, Shane Warne, who tested positive for Covid-19 meaning David Ripley has taken temporary charge, and while their captain Morgan insisted they could still qualify for the knockout stages, they will have to win all four of their remaining games to stand any realistic chance.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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