Northern Superchargers 149 for 7 (Rodrigues 60, Johnson 4-15) beat Trent Rockets 122 for 7 (Brunt 43*) by 27 runs
Jemimah Rodrigues produced her second fifty in as many matches of the women's Hundred, and Laura Kimmince pitched in with a riotous knock of 31 from 13 balls, as Northern Superchargers made it two wins from two at the expense of their hosts, Trent Rockets, who have now lost both of their opening home fixtures.
After winning the toss, Superchargers broke with convention for the tournament to date by choosing to bat first - a reflection on an atypically slow Trent Bridge surface that was always likely to prove tricky for run-scoring in the second innings. That duly proved to be the case, with only Nat Sciver showing any real fluency in her 33 from 23.
Katherine Brunt kept swinging to the end to top-score for Trent Rockets with 43 not out from 36, but she had been cutting a frustrated figure long before the chase petered out. Her crashing pull through square leg off Alice Davidson-Richards' 90th delivery would prove to be the last boundary of the Rockets innings, and the first since Sarah Glenn had launched their second and last six from the 70th ball.
At 98 for 4 with 30 balls remaining, Brunt and Glenn, two England allrounders, represented the last real hope of a fightback. But Superchargers' strategic timeout resulted in a return to the frontline for the legspinner Katie Levick. She duly ripped a beauty past a floundering Glenn to have her stumped for 11 from 8, and with Linsey Smith serving up an outstanding spell of 1 for 12 from her 20 balls, pace off proved decisive as the innings fell away.
Rodrigues' costly reprieve
Rodrigues produced the innings of the Hundred so far on Saturday, when she powered Superchargers to victory with 92 not out from 43 balls against Welsh Fire at Headingley. Today, she could have been pinned by her first ball of the day, a leg-stump pad-thwacker from Brunt that straightened enough to overturn the on-field not-out, but Trent Rockets chose not to review.
It was a predictably costly lapse. Not for the first time, Rodrigues was a sedate figure in the Powerplay, as Lauren Winfield-Hill dominated an opening stand of 64, but having nudged along to 16 from her first 21 balls, her change of tempo was startling to behold - 44 from her next 19, as Kimmince joined the run-fest in a gleefully unfettered cameo.
At 76 for 2 with 35 balls remaining, Rodrigues signalled the Super-charge in predictable fashion, as a pumped-up Brunt - just six runs against her name from her first ten back-to-back deliveries - was thumped straight back over her head for four, the prelude to a devastating run of 13 fours in 20 balls.
Kimmince took the cue, dinking a pair of slower balls to the boundary to further sour Brunt's mood, and when Rodrigues unleashed on Heather Graham with two scintillating bottom-handed drives through the covers, the die was truly cast.
Sciver took Rockets' timeout after leaking 13 runs from her third set of five - three more fours to a now-ticking Rodrigues - but that pause for thought did not have the desired effect. Sarah Glenn was her go-to option, but Kimmince was poised to strike, and did so with devastating force. Five fours out of five flew forth, each to a different corner of the ground as Superchargers shelved the subtlety and went for broke.
Johnson finds a response
As a late replacement for the likes of Elyse Villani and Sophie Molineux, Sammy-Jo Johnson is one of the less heralded Aussies in the Hundred - but she is also one of the sport's natural-born winners, with back-to-back WBBL titles for Brisbane Heat in 2018 and 2019 immediately followed by a third for Sydney Thunder when she switched teams for the 2020-21 event.
And her never-say-die approach dug her side out of a sizeable hole with the remarkable figures of 4 for 15 in 20 balls. Her first ten went wicketless, though she did miss a tough return chance off Winfield-Hill, but after making amends with a sharp grab off Laura Wolvaardt, she applied the emergency brake in her final set of five, with three wickets for one run including two from her last two balls.
Kimmince was the first of those - blood pumping after her boundaries, she played all over a slower ball to depart for 31 from 13 - and Rodrigues followed moments later, another slower ball, this time a solid connection but only as far as Brunt on the long-on rope. Hollie Armitage fell one ball later, hacking to short third for a duck, and though Bess Heath and Smith found the boundary thereafter, Superchargers' eventual total of 149 for 7 - the highest of the women's competition to date - felt some 15-20 short of what had briefly seemed possible. In the end, it mattered not.