|The Hundred, Lord’s|
|Northern Superchargers 126-5 (100 balls): Rodrigues 57 (44); Munro 2-20|
|London Spirit 129-3 (98 balls): Dottin 50 * (34)|
|Spirit win by seven wickets|
London Spirit held their nerve to beat Northern Superchargers by seven wickets at Lord’s and earn a much-needed win in the women’s Hundred.
Spirit, beaten in their last three games, got home with two balls to spare in a tricky chase of 127.
With a hint of swagger, West Indies international Deandra Dottin removed her helmet with six runs from four balls needed and smacked consecutive fours to seal the win.
She finished on 50 not out from 34 balls while England’s Tammy Beaumont hit a steady 42 from 36.
Spirit had been easing to victory with 25 needed from 20 balls before Beaumont fell to Alice Davidson-Richards.
Jemimah Rodrigues had earlier continued her fine form, hitting 57 from 44 balls in the Superchargers’ 126-5.
Spirit remain sixth with the win but are now one of four teams level on four points. Superchargers are second, three points better off.
Entertainer Dottin seals much-needed win
There’s always a touch of theatre when a batter removes their helmet to hit the winning runs – the suggestion being they do so to allow photographers to get the perfect shot at the final moment.
Dottin deserved her moment in the limelight, however. She played a match-winning knock for a team who must have been nervous in the closing stages.
Their batters had underperformed in their recent defeats and 30-year-old Dottin had a top score of 29 in four games.
Early in her innings, after the loss of Spirit and England captain Heather Knight, she cracked four fours in six balls to gain control of the run-chase.
At the end, chewing on her gum, she looked completely calm and imperiously skipped down the pitch to 18-year-old Kalea Moore and slashed the winning runs over the fielders.
Rodrigues – ‘the player of the tournament so far?’
Rodrigues’ knock, albeit in vain, took her run total for the tournament to 223, making her the first man or woman to pass the 200 mark in The Hundred.
It was her third fifty in four games and while she did not hit the heights of her 92 not out against Welsh Fire, Rodrigues looked a class act once again.
The India international showed brilliant touch and placement, hitting a series of textbook drives and sweeps.
During her knock England men’s international Sam Billings, the captain of the Oval Invincibles, suggested Rodrigues may be the player of The Hundred so far.
What makes her form even more remarkable is the fact she had struggled coming into the tournament. Rodrigues had only reached double figures twice in seven matches in 2021 and was left out of India’s XI in five of the seven matches in their recent multi-format series against England.
“I just want to continue,” she told Sky Sports. “Sitting out and not scoring runs you know the value of these runs and when you are in form.
“This is just the beginning.”
And a special graduation…
And it was a special day for one member of Spirit’s squad in particular.
The game came on the day 21-year-old all-rounder Alice Monaghan graduated from Loughborough University.
She did not play but was at Lord’s and afterwards celebrated her big day with her team-mates on the famous dressing room balcony – mortarboard and all. A day to remember…