London do it! The keeper holds his nerve by diving to his right and stopping the ball. It wasn't going fast though, the yorker on leg missed the flick, hit the pad and dribbled away.
This game felt like it was in schrodinger's box, for most of it the Spirit had the life. But with unforced errors and risks coming off, Oval Invincibles made their way back to give a scare. As Billings said, there was rustiness. But Spirit didn't retain the discipline in the end after embodying it for most of the game. Hopefully, this is a sign of the tournament heating up, on its way to become cricket's rooin'est, tootin'est thing. On that omenly note, it's goodbye from me, Ekanth, on behalf of my co-commentator, Hemant Brar, and our scorers, Chandan Duorah and M Venkat Raghav.
Sam Billings, Oval Invincibles Captain: Credit has to go to the guys at the bottom of the order. Getting a partnership is crucial. We played terribly to be honest but came back well. A bit of rustiness cost us. We were 12 for 4 but to take it to the last ball was great. Hopefully, this was the one bad performance of the top order out the way. The no balls were massive, we bowled at least an extra set. The rhythm of the game was quick and we need to keep up with the game. I am far and, sometimes, need to run up which can be tough. So, the bowler at mid-off can help, Sam Curran's done that well. The atmosphere was great as the crowd got right behind us.
Eoin Morgan, London Spirit captain: I love games like that. It teaches how the players cope under pressure, it's great to be on the right side of the result. It's not easy after being put in to bat, Oval lured us in with the crowd. They came back well. Players delivering what they commit to is what I look for. It's difficult for a bowler, but it's made easier if you make good decisions and commit to them. On the last ball, we wanted to go wide and get it away from the swing. We did not get it right but are happy with the win. It felt close to an international game because of the tension and the pressure, young Jordan Thompson, Ellis, et al were amazing. I've played a lot of golf, that might be the secret (laughs). I was rusty, took one in the gut. I was sitting on the short ball, pull or deflect it.
Nathan Ellis, POTM: It was a carnage, no better way to start than with a close game. Unreal atmosphere, it was fast-paced and great. Luck, timing's helped recently. It's happened quickly and I'm trying to sponge it up. I don't know if I deserve it but I'll take it as it comes. In the lead-up, Morgan has been a calming influence and I'm leaning on him already.
9:27 pm: London Spirit get a predictable win but not after a scare as Cox, Curran, and Briggs breathed life back into a dormant game. The top-four were dismissed four single-figure scores. There was a dry period in for a while. What followed the innings' equivalent of a midlife crisis was a middle and lower-middle order resurgence that sprung the game back to life. London withstood the fightback, only just, to defend their score and seal the game by a whisker.
It's length and down leg! Beats Narine's swing but it's wide. Narine tried to help it fine with a pull.
Six off one, the crowd goes on an anticipatory roar. Long-on and off are back.
Yorker-length at off. Drills a cover drive, straight to the fielder in the deep.
Tie is a tie, no super five. That's only in the knockouts.
Driven, it goes square but plugs away as deep cover runs to his left and stops it. This was full, outside off.
Over Pollard at mid-off and it's four more! This was full at the stumps, lofted off the bottom but enough to go over Pollard, who was running to his right, but he overran it and it popped out.
Another edge, beats the diving keeper to his right and goes to the fence! This was full, just outside off. Briggs looked to lift it over mid-off but the edge was in his favour.
17 off 5 needed, should still be London's game unless an over similar to the last is bowled.
Sarah : "Wood forgot he only had to bowl 5 balls there? Basically bowled a set of 10 "
Wide yorker, Briggs jams his bat and it's lifted in the gap between the keeper and short third
Full outside off, chips a cover drive with limited connection. It goes over cover, Pollard at long-off runs to his left and stops it.
Cut-off time could be reached any second now. Yeah, it is and a fielder is called in.
Full outside off, Narine shuffles across and drives it to long-off.
Wide yorker, that looked to be in the tramline but the umpire gives it wide. The crowd were going up and Nasser Hussain says it's a crowd call
Wood goes for the wide yorker, it's outside the tramline. Left alone.
Cracking pull off the middle, sails over deep midwicket. This was short around off and Narine smoked it.
Full outside off, inside edge off the drive goes past leg stump and towards long-stop. Fine leg goes back to stop it.
Free hit is too wide outside off, back of length outside off. Briggs can't reach out far enough to connect with the slap.
Full and slow, reaches out and drives it to deep cover. It's a front-foot no-ey
37 off 10 needed
Slower one dies down from a length outside off, beats the heave by going down the bat. On the bounce to the keeper.
Short over off, Briggs stays legside and upper-cuts/ramps it over wide-deep-third. Uptown funk plays and there was some of that in this 69-metre six.
Full and low outside off, driven and it sizzles to the cover fence.
Full and slow, just outside off. Narine tries to whack it straight, gets it off the bottom. The skier quadrisects, if that's a thing, among four converging fielders. Maxwell from long-on, being the most noticeable.
Wide yorker, left alone. But it's inside the tramline
9 minutes left for the cut off time to be reached. Although Invincibles could be all out by then.
|Kennington Oval, London|
|Toss||Oval Invincibles (Men), elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match days||4 August 2022 - night (100-ball match)|
|Balls per over||5|
|Points||London Spirit (Men) 2, Oval Invincibles (Men) 0|