Welsh Fire vs Southern Brave - Match Reports

27 Jul 2021 | Cricket
Welsh Fire vs Southern Brave - Match reports and quotes by ECB Reporters Network

Southern Brave made it two wins from their first two matches as they raced to victory against Welsh Fire with 16 balls to spare as a fifty from Smriti Mandhana and wickets from Lauren Bell saw the visitors over the line.

The Brave had won the toss and put the Fire into bat and their bowlers made life very difficult for the Welsh side’s top order with Bell and Anya Shrubsole setting the tone early.

The Fire managed just 110 for seven from their 100 balls with only Hayley Matthews making any sort of meaningful contribution.

Mandhana marshalled the chase brilliantly on her way to 61 from 39 as the Brave kept their perfect record at the start of The Hundred.

The Fire had reached 26 for one at the end of the Power Play and they rarely went at better than a run a ball throughout their innings.

The only real acceleration for the Fire came from the bat of Matthews who launched some powerful shots straight down the ground and over the fielders’ heads.

Matthews eventually fell for 33 from 20 balls when she got a thick edge that ballooned up into the waiting hands of Wellington off the bowling of Bell. When Sarah Taylor fell to the very next ball, pinned LBW by Bell, the Fire were 53 for four at the halfway stage of their innings.

Sophie Luff tried to get the Fire up and running again with some powerful drives but she fell having a big swing at a ball from Stafanie Taylor and Carla Rudd stumped her for eight from seven balls.

A run a ball 24 from Georgia Hennessy got the Fire past three figures, but it was a total that seemed short of what they needed against a powerful Brave batting line up.

The Brave’s innings got off to a quick start with Danni Wyatt and Mandhana looking to get ahead of the required rate. Wyatt fell for 12 from nine but Mandhana looked imperious, hitting three sixes during her innings.  

Nicole Harvey should have got the wicket of Mandhana when she skied a ball to midwicket but Alex Griffiths dropped the simplest of chances. Harvey got her reward the next ball when Sophia Dunkley hit a full toss high into the covers.

That was the last moment for success for the Fire as Mandhana and Taylor took their side to their target with ease. 

Welsh Fire v Southern Brave (men)

Welsh Fire squeezed out a second successive victory in The Hundred as they defeated the Southern Brave by 18 runs thanks to a brilliant 72 from Jonny Bairstow.

The Fire batted first and Bairstow and Ben Duckett both passed fifty as they made 165 for four from their 100 balls. Bairstow took his time to get set but once he got going he blasted the Brave attack.

In reply the Brave started brilliantly with Quinton de Kock and James Vince scoring at will. A crucial three wicket burst just after the halfway stage of the Brave innings changed the match and allowed the Fire to strangle the chase.

Just as against the Northern Superchargers the Fire made things difficult for themselves with the ball with some sloppy fielding but they maintained their perfect record.

The Fire got off to a roaring start thanks to Tom Banton who struck his second and third balls for six and his fourth for four. He raced to 34 from 22 balls before he was bowled by the wrist spin of Jake Lintott.

Bairstow took his time to get set, reaching 20 from 21 balls, but from then on he was brutal on the Brave’s bowling. He reached his fifty in 31 balls and finished on 72 from 39. Bairstow was brilliantly supported by Duckett who made 53 from 34. The Fire had been 79 for one after 60 balls before plundering 86 runs from the last 40 balls of their innings.

The Brave got off to an amazing start, taking 27 runs from the first 10 balls as the Fire experimented with Glenn Phillips and Matt Critchley to open the bowling.

Quinton de Kock raced to 21 from seven balls before he was caught going for another big shot over square leg off the bowling of David Payne. Even after the departure of de Kock the runs continued to flow with Devon Conway and Vince both scoring freely as the Brave reached 85 for one after 50 balls.

Things changed dramatically from there with three batters falling in the space of nine runs and 11 balls with both Conway and Vince dismissed.

The Brave never really recovered from this cluster of wickets with Whiteley’s 25 from 14 giving them some hope, but when he departed he took the last of his team’s chances with him.