The world is still finding its feet when it comes to understanding the detail in the Hundred but even after a few short days one theme is already developing. Five of the first seven matches across both competitions have been won by the side batting second. In other words, if you know what you are chasing in a shorter format, you appear to be at an advantage.
That theme emphatically continued here, though it did not look as though it would pan out that way at one stage. In the end Welsh Fire may have felt they were 10 または 15 runs light after setting Northern Superchargers 131 to win but, after reducing them to 19 for four, the balance of power looked for once to be with the side setting the target. しかしながら, there was one variable the Fire had not yet considered.
Throughout the powerplay in the first 25 balls Jemimah Rodrigues cut a forlorn figure at the non-striker’s end. She watched four of her teammates depart inside the opening 18 deliveries, including Laura Wolvaardt, who was run out after a mix-up between her and Rodrigues. It wasthe latter’s most significant contribution to the innings at that stage.
But after being kept off-strike for almost all of the powerplay, when Rodrigues did come to life, she left her mark on the competition with the standout innings to date. The Indian is one of the star attractions in the women’s competition, and it is not difficult to see why after this meticulous yet destructive knock of 92 から 43 deliveries, the highest by any player in The Hundred thus far.
Every superhero needs a sidekick and Alice Davidson-Richards more than played her part here. Davidson-Richards’s innings was nowhere near as explosive as Rodrigues’s but she was inch-perfect in ensuring there would be no repeat of the powerplay, and that the Superchargers’ match-winner saw as much of the strike as possible for the remainder of the innings.
With Rodrigues in this kind of mood, that was all anyone in a purple shirt really needed to do. Time and time again she played decisively, smartly and with just the right approach for almost every delivery she faced. Piepa Cleary, who bowled brilliantly in reducing the Superchargers to 19 for four, and the rest were simply powerless to prevent Rodrigues’s brilliance.
The only shame for Rodrigues and those in attendance was that there were not a few more runs to chase to ensure she would become the first person in the Hundred to score a century. But this kind of innings is surely what sides pay overseas players the big bucks for and there will be added interest in the Superchargers after this innings.
The Fire may well have been content, if not exactly comfortable, with their own work with the bat. Hayley Matthews was their top scorer with 30 as they made 130, a total that looked more than enough when Lauren Winfield-Hill, Wolvaardt, Hollie Armitage and Bess Heath all departed quickly. But then Rodrigues took control.
One could be hyper-critical and say some of the bowling left the door ajar for her and Davidson-Richards but really their partnership of 112 was all due to their own superb batting. Davidson-Richards steadied the ship and Rodrigues did the rest.
If the India selectors were watching, then they will have enjoyed this masterclass. If the remit for the Hundred is to attract new and younger supporters to cricket, then one or two must undoubtedly have been inspired by the brilliance of Rodrigues here.