Turner delivered an exceptional performance, securing figures of 1 for 22. Rockets set a competitive total primarily due to New Zealander Colin Munro’s explosive innings, smashing 66 runs from 35 balls. Despite a shaky start, their final tally reached 152 for 6.
The loss dealt a blow to Fire’s aspirations for a top-three finish. Their bowling allowed the Rockets to escape a tight situation, and their batting struggled to gain momentum. The match boiled down to the last ball, with Roelof van der Merwe requiring a six for victory. However, he managed only a single, and Fire closed at 148 for 6. Joe Clarke stood out with a top score of 54 off 34 deliveries.
The organizers billed the encounter as a face-off between Trent Rockets’ international top-order batsmen and Welsh Fire’s equally international bowling attack. Opting to bowl first, the home team aimed to unleash their bowling prowess.
The early phase favored the bowlers, as England’s David Willey dismissed both openers. Alex Hales edged the ball to wicketkeeper Clarke, who made an exceptional diving catch. Dawid Malan fell lbw while attempting to guide the ball after a review showed it would have hit leg stump.
Joe Root initiated his innings energetically and showcased his signature ramp shot, frequently employed during the summer. However, Jake Ball’s slower ball led to his dismissal, with the ball gently landing in Clarke’s hands due to the lack of pace.
When van der Merwe’s delivery spun to dismiss Tom Kohler-Cadmore, the Rockets faced a dire situation at 40 for 4 after 41 balls.
Munro’s Sixes Propel Rockets Towards Competitive Total
A brilliant boundary fielding effort by Harris Rauf almost resulted in Munro being run out. However, Shaheen Shah Afridi attempted a direct hit on the stumps instead of delivering to keeper Clarke.
Munro responded with two big sixes against van der Merwe, and another six off Rauf brought him to a half-century off 27 balls. Despite Pakistan’s Rauf conceding only 19 runs in his 20 balls, Munro’s 66 off 35 propelled his team to a competitive total.
Turner dismissed Jonny Bairstow’s off stump for 3, securing his wicket after Bairstow’s second consecutive low score upon returning for Welsh Fire.
Facing Luke Wood’s swing, Fire struggled to match the required run rate. The acceleration was essential, but Eskinazi’s attempt to hit Sams over the top led to his departure, caught by Joe Root from long on.
Munro at deep square dropped Luke Wells off Lewis Gregory, but Sams eventually caught him on another skied shot off Ish Sodhi after Wells had scored 8.
Despite challenges, Clarke and Tom Abell kept the scoreboard ticking without gaining a significant advantage. Fire needed 34 runs from the final 15 balls. The initial five produced no runs, with Abell being run out and Clarke getting dismissed off the fifth ball. However, Clarke received a reprieve because of a no-ball and a free hit. He capitalized on it, hitting a six to keep Fire’s hopes alive with 26 runs needed off the last 10 balls.
Glen Phillips contributed 12 runs off Sams before being caught at long-off. With 14 required from the final set, Clarke and David Willey took the crease, but Rockets and Turner held firm, securing the victory.