32nd Match (N), Cardiff, Aug 18 2021, The Hundred Men's Competition
(98/100 balls, target 164)165/7
Fire won by 3 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
80 (35)

9.17 pm London Spirit with a ghoulish record ending the inaugural Hundred campaign with a solitary win, ending in last place on three points. Duck soup for the opening partnership in the chase winds up not mattering a bit for Welsh Fire thanks to Glenn Phillips' 80 off 35 balls. Blake Cullen and Brad Wheal's three wickets apiece are in vain.

No surprises for guessing the Match Hero. It's Glenn Phillips: "[Getting a hundred] was definitely on my mind, but in the end we're a team first mentality with the boys. Qais managed to finish it with a couple of balls to go in the end. It was on my mind but definitely wasn't at the forefront. It was great to have so many people here with the Covid restrictions getting a little more lenient. The more I think, the worse it gets for me. It's a very simple game plan that goes on and then if I stick to it and just watch the ball after that, it's all I do to go bat. I think the pitch was a little bit slow. They batted really well. Credit to Josh [Inglis] who batted stunningly in that first innings but obviously it starts to quicken up under lights a little more and we made the most of it. I think every team going forward is going to learn the tactics a little better and understand when to bowl the 10 straight for which type of bowler and when not to so it'll be interesting to see what the next couple years of the Hundred brings."

So tomorrow is the first day without a Hundred doubleheader since the opening two days of the tournament when the men and women played singular curtain raisers. But Friday comes the Eliminator playoff matches! Invincibles vs Phoenix on the women's side followed by Brave vs Rockets in the nightcap for the men's game for the right to go to their respective finals. Join us then for more live coverage. That's all for the league phase though. For Varun Shetty, I'm Peter Della Penna. Take care!

Wheal to Qais, FOUR runs

bouncer outside off, Qais Ahmad uppercuts this over third man. The Afghanistan international gives his countryman something to smile about in difficult times with the matchwinning runs to the boundary. Welsh Fire send the home fans home happy by avoiding the wooden spoon!

Wheal to Qais, FOUR runs

length ball on sixth stump, Qais swats this off a thick edge behind point and beats short third man to the rope.

Wheal to Qais, no run

length ball on fifth stump, Qais with a blind heave to the leg side and misses.

Brad Wheal to bowl the final set.

after 95 balls11 runs
WF-M: 157/7Need 7 from 5 balls
Josh Cobb28 (15)
Qais Ahmad5 (3)
Jade Dernbach 0/23 (15)
Dernbach to Cobb, 1 run

slower wide yorker, scuffs a toe edge to short third man for one.

London Spirit have now been penalized for not finishing their overs in time. They'll have to bowl the final six balls (if the game lasts that long) with an extra fielder inside the ring.

Dernbach to Cobb, FOUR runs

goes for wide yorker again at 81 mph, Cobb slices a drive off a thick edge that swirls over short third man in the ring and backspins away to the rope.

Dernbach to Qais, 1 run

slower ball wide yorker that Qais adjusts to and slams a drive off Dernbach's boots with a ricochet to mid-off for one.

Dernbach to Qais, FOUR runs

attempted wide yorker on sixth stump winds up being a low full toss swatted by Qais through wide long-off and teases Wiese to the boundary. Afghanistan flags proudly waving in the stands for Qais.

Dernbach to Cobb, 1 run

low full toss on fifth stump swatted straight back down the ground for one.

Dernbach at the death. Could bowl 10 straight if he (or his captain Morgan) wants.

after 90 balls7 runs • 1 wicket
WF-M: 146/7Need 18 from 10 balls
Qais Ahmad0 (1)
Josh Cobb22 (12)
Brad Wheal 3/22 (15)
Wheal to Qais, no run

back of a length ball on Qais' ribs, tries to pull and mishits it into the ground.

Qais Ahmad enters now with 18 runs needed off 11 balls.

For a wooden spoon match, this chase is providing plenty of drama!

Wheal to Critchley, OUT

back of a length on middle stump, Critchley backs away and simultaneously charges down the pitch for a leg side heave but manages a toe edge through to the keeper.

Matt Critchley c †Rossington b Wheal 0 (6m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0
Wheal to Cobb, 1 run

back of a length ball punched away for one.

Wheal to Cobb, 2 runs

dropped! Goodness Joe Cracknell at long-on spills the easiest chance of the night! Length ball climbs on the batter at 83 mph, top edged pull goes up to Cracknell 10 yards inside the rope at long-on, 5/10 difficulty chance and Cracknell makes a total mess of it, juggling it at chest height before spilling it completely.

Wheal to Cobb, FOUR runs

length ball on off stump at 84 mph, Cobb backs away for a big lofted drive, mid-off is up in the ring so it's a very safe shot beating that fielder and going to the rope.

Wheal returns.

after 85 balls5 runs • 1 wicket
WF-M: 139/6Need 25 from 15 balls
Matt Critchley0 (2)
Josh Cobb15 (9)
Blake Cullen 3/37 (20)
Cullen to Critchley, 1 bye

length ball on fifth stump, misses a pull but Rossington with a very costly bye allowing a straightforward collection off a second bounce to elude him.

Cullen to Critchley, no run

length ball on fifth stump, punched to Morgan at extra cover.

Cullen to Higgins, OUT

Bopara makes amends for the mental blunder on the previous ball to take a superb sliding catch at wide deep midwicket! Another length ball that Higgins whacks flat in the air to the leg side. Bopara gets a much better read on it this time and sprints to his left before sliding to cushion the catch and takes it very well about 10 yards inside the rope.

Ryan Higgins c Bopara b Cullen 8 (8m 7b 1x4 0x6) SR: 114.28
Cullen to Higgins, FOUR runs

Bopara pays the price for cheating in off the deep midwicket rope! Short ball on the stumps, Bopara is a good 15 yards in off the rope and leaps in vain trying to get something to bat down a flat pull shot. Lands over his head five yards inside the rope and bounces over for four.

Cullen to Higgins, no run

length ball on fourth stump, Higgins with a wild heave and misses.

Blake Cullen back for his final set of five.