result
1st Match (N), The Oval, Jul 22 2021, The Hundred Men's Competition
(100 balls, target 146)136/7
Invincibles won by 9 runs
player of the match
Sam Billings
Oval Invincibles (Men)
after 100 balls9 runs • 1 wicket
MO-M: 136/7
Tom Hartley5 (3)
Fred Klaassen3 (3)
Sam Curran 2/27 (20)

9.25pm: Whoosh. The Hundred has landed its alien spacecraft on the lawn of English cricket, lasers set to stun. It's slick, it's noisy, and it's going to dominate the stage in high summer. Get strapped in, folks. Anyway, that's enough waffling for tonight - Miller is ballin' his way through the report, which will be up soon, and we'll be back for the first double-header, between the men's and women's teams of Birmingham Phoenix and Trent Rockets at Edgbaston tomorrow. Bye!

9.15pm: Not quite the same drama at the end, but the same result for the Oval Invincibles. The choons are belting out, the crowd sounds truly sozzled, and the Men's Hundred has also got off without a hitch. I thought they might struggle to defend 145 on a ground that's usually high-scoring, but all the bowlers did their bit - only Reece Topley went at more than 1.60 a ball - and Originals couldn't get any of the top order to bat through. Carlos Brathwaite attempted to roll back the years, but eventually plinked one to long-on rather than over the ropes.

Here's winning skip, and Player Hero of the Match, Sam Billings: "Unbelievable atmosphere, one of the best grounds in the world. Great to get first win on the board and follow the ladies' example. Very partisan here at the Oval, the support was phenomenal, local lads closed the game out brilliantly at the end. [Pitch?] Bit slow, we saw spin throughout. Used pitch been in the sun, what we expected. But it's about adapting, and thankfully we got enough on the board tonight. [Par score?] Definitely 150-160 on a good pitch. But on that pitch we were there or thereabouts. [Narine] He's phenomenal, done it all around the world, to have him on your side - batsmen coming in and facing that is as difficult as anything."

Originals captain Jos Buttler: [First thoughts?] "As the tournament goes on more things will unravel. Thought it was a great game, atmosphere, loved the product and had a great night. [Oval support] Lots of city rivalries, hope the cities back their franchise, nice to have a partisan side and we hope to have great support in Manchester. Bit of a challenge with our squad, guys pulling out but that has presented chances. They'll take an enormous amount from that, playing in the opening night of the Men's Hundred. [Compare to T20] Felt quicker, two balls into the five-ball over you have to make a decision. I like the opportunity to carry on [for ten], will create some great match-ups. Been great to see families, looks like they had a great nice tonight."

100
2
Sam Curran to Hartley, 2 runs

pitched up and Hartley can only shovel it down to long-on, meaning Invincibles win by nine runs - the Oval outfit remains appropriately named, after the men emulate the women by claiming the opening-night spoils!

Flake time. One ball to come

99
2
Sam Curran to Hartley, 2 runs

fullish length outside off, Hartley slaps it through point for a couple, this won't be enough

98
1
Sam Curran to Klaassen, 1 run

fires in the full-pace yorker as a follow-up, Klaassen can't do anything with that

Klaassen can't get out. But can he nail a boundary?

98
2nb
Sam Curran to Klaassen, (no ball)

oh no, slower ball gone wrong! Big Sam gives up a no-ball and a free hit with one that misses the cut strip down the leg side!

97
2
Sam Curran to Klaassen, 2 runs

full, Klaassen ramps it leg side, Mahmood has to turn and run... but he does well, keeps them to two

Fred Klaassen on strike, four to go

96
W
Sam Curran to Brathwaite, OUT

pitched up and smashed downtown... but it doesn't have the legs, pouched at long-on! You thought that was right in the slot for Brathwaite, but he hung his head in frustration as Roy ran around the boundary and held it safely at chest-height

Carlos Brathwaite c Roy b SM Curran 37 (29b 2x4 1x6) SR: 127.58

Sam Curran to bowl 'em

Originals need 19 from the last six five. Carlos only needed four in Kolkata five years ago...

after 95 balls7 runs • 1 wicket
MO-M: 127/6Need 19 from 5 balls
Carlos Brathwaite37 (28)
Tom Hartley1 (1)
Tom Curran 1/25 (20)
95
2
Tom Curran to Brathwaite, 2 runs

fired in full and straight, not quite yorker-length again... but Brathwaite can only pound it flat to long-off, solid finish to Curran's allocation

94
2
Tom Curran to Brathwaite, 2 runs

goes for the blockhole, Brathwaite tries to get under it, can only flip a couple into the leg side

93
1
Tom Curran to Hartley, 1 run

full on the stumps and tickled to leg

"Interesting one here for the new playing conditions," says Matt Roller, "think they crossed by the time Curran took the catch but the new bat Hartley has to be on strike." Yep, Brathwaite wanted to go down, but he'll have to stand and watch for now

92
W
Tom Curran to Harrison, OUT

full toss, taken at mid-off! Harrison's hard-scrabble knock comes to an end in the dying embers... TeeCee missed his yorker by a distance but it was miscued to the edge of the ring, SCurran taking a good low catch

Calvin Harrison c SM Curran b TK Curran 23 (16b 3x4 0x6) SR: 143.75
91
2
Tom Curran to Harrison, 2 runs

back of a length, pace off at 73mph and Harrison has to wait for it, swung leg side... tight at the bowler's end as Curran flicks on to the stumps but Brathwaite was home

"Don't take me home!" is the boozy cry from the crowd. Last ten, from the Vauxhall End, Tom Curran for his final set

CHANGE OF END
after 90 balls8 runs
MO-M: 120/5Need 26 from 10 balls
Calvin Harrison21 (14)
Carlos Brathwaite33 (26)
Sam Curran 1/18 (15)

And the Invincibles call for their strategic timeout, with 26 needed off ten. Right in Carlos' wheelhouse, you'd have to say, although he's not connected with many so far tonight

90
1lb
Sam Curran to Harrison, 1 leg bye

nicely bowled, dipping slower ball outside leg stump, deflects off the pads as Harrison swings across the line

89
4
Sam Curran to Harrison, FOUR runs

smashed through the leg side! Just slightly overpitched and he crunches it off his toes past deep midwicket

88
1
Sam Curran to Brathwaite, 1 run

pitched up, decent yorker and Brathwaite digs it out

Sounds like Billings is chivvying his players on. They will lose players outside the ring if they go over time (although the umpires will make some allowances)

87
1
Sam Curran to Harrison, 1 run

pitched up, Harrison clips one more off his legs

"I thought this had to be finished by 9pm?" Yeeeaaahh, that's the idea, Jonny

86
1
Sam Curran to Brathwaite, 1 run

over the wicket, full on the stumps and nudged through midwicket

Sam Curran takes over for the next set

after 85 balls13 runs
MO-M: 112/5Need 34 from 15 balls
Calvin Harrison16 (11)
Carlos Brathwaite31 (24)
Tom Curran 0/18 (15)
85
1
Tom Curran to Harrison, 1 run

full and wide and slapped to backward point, they hurry through

84
4
Tom Curran to Harrison, FOUR runs

thick-edges four to third! Back-of-the-hander, I think, and Harrison swung wildly, gladly accepted the boundary

83
1
Tom Curran to Brathwaite, 1 run

shortish at the body tis time, shovelled through the leg side

82
6
Tom Curran to Brathwaite, SIX runs

hold the pose! Brathwaite slams six over long-off! Just a length ball, right where Carlos likes it, right elbow coming through high as he nails the ball hard and flat

81
1
Tom Curran to Harrison, 1 run

fullish length, maybe pace off, punched into the covers

Into the, ahem, death balls. Tom Curran back from the Pavilion End