Tom Curran and Jimmy Neesham’s unbroken stand of 127 helped the Oval Invincibles fight back from a poor start to claim their first men’s Hundred title with a 14-run victory over the Manchester Originals.

The Invincibles were in trouble after being reduced to 34 for five with England stars Jason Roy and Sam Curran out for ducks.

However, Neesham and Tom Curran rallied as they combined to add 127 off 65  balls and set a challenging total of 161 for five.

The Originals made an indifferent start as Phil Salt was caught by Sam Curran off brother Tom and Manchester scored just 14 runs as a further three wickets fell, with Jos Buttler, Wayne Madsen and Laurie Evans all dismissed.

Max Holden tried to keep their hopes alive with a spirited 37 before falling to Sam Curran as the Invincibles ensured Manchester fell to a second successive final defeat.

Danni Wyatt finished as leading runscorer in the Women’s Hundred as Southern Brave made it third time lucky with a 34-run win over Northern Superchargers to give Anya Shrubsole a fairytale send-off in the final at Lord’s.

Wyatt’s scintillating 59 from 38 balls meant she overhauled fellow England star Tammy Beaumont at the top of the standings with 295 runs in total.

Freya Kemp’s 31 and Georgia Adams’ 27 lent support as the Brave piled up 139 for six on a dry pitch, despite three for 21 for England seamer Kate Cross.

Jemimah Rodrigues, starved of strike for long periods, made 24 in the chase, but Kalea Moore returned three for 15 and Lauren Bell three for 21, while there were a trio of stumpings for Rhianna Southby as Superchargers were bowled out for 105.

It meant the Brave, bridesmaids in the first two finals, finally got their hands on the trophy, a fitting end to a glittering career for retiring skipper Shrubsole, who took the match-clinching wicket in England’s World Cup winning triumph against India at the home of cricket six years ago.

Much of the Brave’s success on the run to the final had been built on the triumvirate of Smriti Mandhana, Wyatt and Maia Bouchier, but after being put in, two were gone in the blink of an eye.

Mandhana dismissed the first ball of the match to the point boundary only to slice the next from Grace Ballinger to fly-slip, while Bouchier played too soon at one from Cross to leave the Brave eight for two.

However, Wyatt produced a gem of an innings as the England batter played shots all around the wicket, sweeping effectively and hitting inside out over the off-side in racing to 50 from 35 balls with nine fours. A glorious straight six followed as she and Adams added 84 in 63 balls.

A mix-up meant Cross’ underarm throw ended Wyatt’s knock prematurely and Adams, dropped earlier by Georgia Wareham, holed out to the same fielder for 27.

An extraordinary cameo from Kemp, including swinging the bat out of her hands, lifted the Brave above par before she and Chloe Tryon both fell in Cross’ excellent final set.

Marie Kelly was given out lbw to the first ball of the chase from Bell, only to be reprieved on review, but undeterred the England speedster bowled her off the pads with the second.

Phoebe Litchfield took up the chase with two dismissive early fours in a bid to overhaul Wyatt once more as leading runscorer.

She would though only get to 13 before swinging another Bell delivery to a catcher in the deep.

Rodrigues picked up five from a misdirected Tryon throw at the stumps, but only 28 came from the powerplay.

Wicketkeeper Southby then took centre-stage with two brilliant pieces of glovework to stump first Hollie Armitage and then England newbie Bess Heath, the latter having previously hit Bell over the ropes for six.

Shrubsole joined in the fun with a farewell wicket of Alice Davidson-Richards and once Rodrigues holed out in the increasingly desperate pursuit of boundaries, Brave were all but home.

Shabnim Ismail has revealed how representing Welsh Fire in The Hundred is helping her fill the void left by her retirement from international cricket.

The pace bowler has been integral to reviving the fortunes of the Cardiff-based side, who finished rock bottom last summer, and powered them to the top of the table with a nerveless hat-trick at the death to see off Birmingham Phoenix on Thursday night.

Ismail is a proven winner in the 100-ball format, having helped Oval Invincibles to the title in 2021 and 2022, but did not shrink from the challenge after being drafted by the struggling Fire and has thrown herself into the task.

The 34-year-old called an end to her South Africa career earlier this year but feels that doing her bit for the principality is helping her find her peak performance.

“When I moved I didn’t really realise it wasn’t just Welsh Fire the club, but Wales the country. I’m so proud to play in the Welsh colours,” she told the PA news agency.

“I’m calling myself an honorary Welshwoman, of course! I’m retired from internationals but I’m lucky that I still get to play for a country. To represent a nation, it almost feels like I’m back with South Africa at a World Cup. It makes me play with my heart on my sleeve and do well for them.

“I was nervous first of all coming into the team but it has been like a family, an amazing welcome. I always say I can only produce the goods and play to the best of my ability when I’m comfortable in the environment and here I know I can speak my mind with no drama, everybody trusts me.”

Ismail certainly had no problem finding her finest form when she conjured a classic finish to defeat the Phoenix in a nail-biter at Edgbaston. Defending four runs from the last three balls of the match she dismissed Tess Flintoff, Erin Burns and Issy Wong. More remarkable than the feat itself, though, was the fact that Ismail did not even realise she had done it.

“I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I told the team I wanted the last five balls. But I was so in the zone I didn’t even know I had a hat-trick,” she said.

“I just didn’t realise it was three in a row, in my head every wicket was a dot ball. I didn’t even hear the crowd initially, but it pumped me up when I did. I think we made the whole of Birmingham angry.”

Welsh Fire now find themselves in the unexpected position of leading the way after two years of under-delivering but, if that is a surprise to some, Ismail called it before a ball had been bowled.

“When I met Breesey (head coach Gareth Breese), I told him ‘we are going to win this’,” she said.

“I told him things will be different this year. He told me ‘baby steps, one at a time’ but I keep telling him we’ve got this. Now we all believe, we know we can do it.”

Spencer Johnson was a phonecall away from gatecrashing this summer’s Ashes and underlined his credentials as one of Australia’s next big things with a record-breaking debut for Oval Invincibles.

The left-arm quick produced sensational figures of three wickets for one run in Wednesday’s victory over Manchester Originals – the cheapest 20-ball spell ever recorded in The Hundred.

Even more remarkable was the fact that the 27-year-old had never set foot on English soil before and only arrived in the country on Monday, having played in the final of Canada’s Global T20 the day before.

“I don’t know when it will sink in really, I’m not even sure it will. I’m pretty speechless,” he told the PA news agency.

“You never come into a game expecting to concede one run, especially bowling at players like Jos Buttler and Phil Salt first up. I was trying to remember where the one came from and I couldn’t picture it. I’m enjoying it now because it will probably never happen again, but was quite cool to be a part of.

“It was raining when I arrived in England so I didn’t have a chance to have a roll out in the middle the day before, and I didn’t know how I was going to feel out on the pitch. But playing out there at the Oval felt awesome.”

Johnson’s whirlwind week also saw him called up by Australia for the first time, for the T20 series against South Africa at the end of the month.

Had things been different he could have found himself thrown into this summer’s unforgettable Test series against England, which finished 2-2 after gripping the cricket world for seven weeks.

He was on another franchise assignment with Los Angeles Knight Riders when Cricket Australia told him he may be needed for the fourth and fifth Tests, though left-armer Mitchell Starc eventually played through despite some injury niggles.

“I reckon I watched every ball of that series,” he said.

“I was placed on standby for the last couple of Tests so I had to be following things pretty closely.

“I grew up admiring Starcy my whole life, ever since he came on the scene. He’s the ultimate athlete, durable, fast, takes crucial wickets.

“I like the way he goes about things, I’d love to be anywhere near him to be honest. Test cricket is number one at the forefront of my mind, hopefully in a couple of years I’m still bowling well and I get a chance (to face England), but we’ve got another six games here with Invincibles and that’s as far ahead as I’m thinking now.”


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The first of those comes against Northern Superchargers at Headingley on Friday, where compatriot Matthew Short will be looking to do more damage to Johnson’s figures than the Originals managed.

“I know I’ll go for more than one next time, it’s one of those things that will probably never happen again,” he admitted.

“Cricket is pretty fickle game, but if it’s swinging and I’m hitting the right length, we’ve seen it can be tough to score. Shorty has got me a couple of times back in Australia and I’m looking to level the playing field!”

West Indies Captain Hayley Matthews played a starring role to help the Welsh Fire defeat the Southern Brave by four runs in their Women’s Hundred fixture at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Friday.

Matthews hit a 38-ball 65 including 13 fours to help the Fire post 165-3 from their 100 balls after being inserted by the Brave.

The Fire also got solid contributions from Georgia Elwiss (28) and Captain Tammy Beaumont (26).

Then, despite an opening partnership of 96 between Smriti Mandhana and Danni Wyatt, the Southern Brave were restricted to 161-4 off their 100 balls.

Mandhana ended up 70* off 42 balls while Wyatt made 67 off 37 balls. Mandhana hit 11 fours while Wyatt hit 10 fours and two sixes.

Alex Griffiths took 2-26 from her 20 balls while Matthews took 1-35 from her 20 deliveries for the Fire.

An all-round performance from Sunil Narine propelled the Oval Invincibles to a three-wicket win over the London Spirit in their Hundred fixture at Lord’s on Wednesday.

First, Narine starred with the ball after his Invincibles won the toss and elected to field first.

In his 20 balls, Narine took 2-14 to help restrict the Spirit to 131 from their 100 balls.

Adam Rossington led the way for the Spirit with 39 while Matthew Wade hit 37.

The Invincibles then reached 132-7 with only one ball to spare. Sam Curran hit 34 while Captain Sam Billings made 25.

Narine hit 13 from five balls including the winning runs. Daniel Worrall, Jordan Thompson and Nathan Ellis all took two wickets, each, for the Spirit.

Injury-hit seamer Reece Topley says The Hundred is “end-stage rehab” in his quest to make England’s ICC World Cup squad following a torrid spell of misfortune.

The 29-year-old is set to make his comeback from a dislocated shoulder on Thursday when the Northern Superchargers host Birmingham Phoenix at Headingley.

His career has been ravaged by fitness setbacks, with the latest issue – sustained in April playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League – occurring in the aftermath of an ankle problem and a series of serious back issues.

Topley is eager to make up for lost time and admits the 100-ball franchise tournament is his “vessel” back to the top level as he eyes a spot on his country’s plane for the 50-over competition in India in the autumn.

“It has gone really well,” he said of his rehabilitation, speaking at the launch of KP Snacks’ community cricket pitches initiative which will fund 100 new pitches over the next three years.

“You can spend a lot of time soul searching and asking why but in the end you’ve just got to get on the front foot and deal with it and almost have a typical British attitude of stiff upper lip and crack on.

“I’m really excited to get back out there. Playing again fills me with so much excitement. Let’s hope it’s the start of a relatively successful end of the summer and winter, obviously with the World Cup on the horizon.

“The Hundred is almost like end-stage rehab to an extent.

“I want to do well for the Supercharges – we’ve got a great squad that want to go all the way in the comp – and I want to put in some performances that contribute to that.”

Topley sat out last year’s Hundred as his priority was the T20 World Cup.

However, he missed England’s triumphant campaign in Australia due to damaging ankle ligaments on a boundary rope.

Having just returned from that major disappointment, the left-armer was quickly back on the treatment table after a painful incident in his inaugural IPL match.

“I knew I was going home when I was sat in Bangalore with my humerus in front of my pec,” he said.

“I was just like, ‘how quickly can I get home to have surgery?’.

“The Hundred, last year I didn’t play in it, but this year it’s my vessel to get back into cricket and I can’t wait to play.

“I don’t think you change anything in terms of how you perceive the game (because of injuries).

“You have a big sense of gratification that you’re out there. You love the fact that you’re playing cricket, rather than you turn up and have the sense that it’s just another game. ”

England’s World Cup defence begins on October 5 against New Zealand in Ahmedabad.


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Topley, who claimed a record six-for against India at Lord’s last summer, hopes his return to international duty will come in four-match ODI series against the Kiwis and Ireland in September.


“We haven’t played a massive amount of 50-over cricket so those games will be quite pivotal in the lead up to the World Cup,” he said.

“I will look to hopefully play in those and get up to speed as soon as possible.”

:: KP Snacks are funding 100 new community cricket pitches over the next three years. To find out more visit:

England’s men’s Ashes stars will be assessed before a decision is made on their availability for The Hundred, but those who have had heavy workloads are likely to miss the first couple of matches at least.

A congested schedule that has compressed five Tests into less than seven weeks is set to conclude at the Kia Oval on Monday, with the third edition of the 100-ball competition beginning the following day.

Ben Stokes did not feature at all last year and England’s Test captain mentioned in his pre-match press conference he would be going on holiday at the conclusion of the series against Australia.

Longstanding concerns about Stokes’ left knee – he is planning to have “serious conversations” about having an operation as England are not playing another Test until January – means the Northern Superchargers might not see their talismanic all-rounder for the entire four-week campaign.

Such an outcome would be a blow to the tournament that has faced questions over its long-term viability, although the England and Wales Cricket Board has publicly quashed any concerns, while none of the touring Ashes squad will feature this year.

Fast bowlers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes have also had injury niggles before and during the Ashes, so their availability for London Spirit and Birmingham Phoenix respectively could be impacted.

Another consideration is the fact the pair are crucial to England’s defence of their 50-over World Cup crown later this year, as is Jonny Bairstow, who plays for Welsh Fire but may be in need of rest after being an ever-present in England’s failed pursuit of the urn on his return from a horrific broken leg.

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Harry Brook and Moeen Ali, who has been nursing a sore spinning finger throughout the Ashes, are the others unlikely to be thrust into duty in The Hundred straight away.

An ECB spokesperson said: “Players who have featured in the LV= Insurance men’s Ashes will be assessed at the end of the series and their availability for The Hundred decided accordingly.

“Assessments are made by the England science and medicine team, in consultation with the player.”

Lauren Bell will be absent for Southern Brave’s first two fixtures, as will Sophia Dunkley for new team Welsh Fire, but all other England players that were involved in the women’s Ashes series which finished last week are available from the off.

The men’s and women’s Hundred runs concurrently, with the group stage lasting until August 24, with the eliminator and the final taking place two and three days later.

Former England international Anya Shrubsole announced she will retire from playing at the end of the season after helping Southern Vipers beat The Blaze by seven wickets to lift the Charlotte Edwards Cup for the second year in a row.

The Vipers player-coach, a World Cup winner in 2017, was named player of the match after taking two for 24, having removed both of the The Blaze’s openers before bad weather stopped play on Saturday night.

A half-century from Danni Wyatt helped wrap up a comprehensive victory on Sunday, and it marked a turning point for Shrubsole, who said afterwards it was her last game for the Vipers as she will retire from playing after The Hundred.

“It’s hard to put an exact date on when I made the decision,” the 31-year-old said. “Through the course of this tournament it just became clear to me that my time was up.

“I carried on playing because I really enjoy playing, but I guess the pain element of it – if I’m being totally honest – made it not particularly enjoyable at times, so in lots of ways it was a pretty easy decision to call it a day at the end of this year.

“I told my team-mates on Friday night. I didn’t see it playing out like this, I told the girls because I wanted them to know but I didn’t think they’d make it really obvious.

“I feel very lucky to have played the last few seasons with this group, because they’re an exceptional team and an exceptional bunch of people.”

Shrubsole retired from international cricket last year, but has continued to play for Berkshire, the Vipers and Southern Brave.

She came through the ranks at Somerset and earned her first England call up as a teenager in 2008, going on to eight Tests, 86 ODIs and 79 T20 matches.

Richard Gould, the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has insisted making changes to the format of The Hundred is “not something that’s on my agenda”.

The peak summer month of August has been controversially ring-fenced for the third season of The Hundred, which still polarises opinion among cricket fans and is exclusively played in the UK.

Reports last month suggested its structure was being considered and the theory gained traction with the news Sanjay Patel, mastermind and managing director of The Hundred, would leave the ECB in September.

But Gould argued the distinction between the 100-ball competition and its T20 rivals abroad is a selling point and admitted Sky and the BBC, the ECB’s broadcast partners, are champions of The Hundred.

“In a crowded market, it is a point of difference,” Gould said on the Final Word podcast. “The format is not something that’s on my agenda, in this regard.

“Sky have been really supportive in driving it forward, it’s given us that point of difference and everyone in the cricketing world has heard of The Hundred, that’s a good thing.

“As long as people are talking about the game, I’m happy.

“There is always going to be arguments with competition, as to what we do and where we go next but we will be utterly pragmatic and more focused on progressive improvement and we will do it in a collaborative manner where everybody can feel involved.”

According to a report from Worcestershire chair Fanos Hira, the competition made a £9million loss in its first two seasons, a figure disputed by the ECB which says a profit of £11.8m was achieved.

Gould and ECB chair Richard Thompson were once prominent critics when The Hundred was first broached during their stints in identical roles at Surrey but the pair’s stance has softened appreciably.

But while Gould sees substantial upsides to The Hundred, he believes there is room for improvement amid a proliferation of domestic white-ball competitions from all over the world fighting for attention.

“You see the competition we’re in globally now and every country needs to have a super primetime white-ball domestic competition,” Gould said.

“We have invested very heavily in The Hundred over a number of years, both emotionally and financially.

“We are not going to take The Hundred out, we are going to make it bigger and better. We’re going to make the whole of cricket bigger and better, that is our aim.

“I think the level of investment that has gone into The Hundred has delivered really good returns in terms of a new audience. The broadcasters really enjoy it, the BBC have put it on free-to-air.”

Gould, who has already opened the door for multi-year central contracts and increased match fees for England players, accepted salaries in The Hundred may need to go up to compete with its market rivals.

Currently, the highest bracket for the men in The Hundred is £125,000 while for women it is £31,250.

“Salaries will need to go up, not just for The Hundred but also for international cricket because we can see there is a global market for players,” Gould added.

“The difficulty for the ECB and our revenues is we have so many mouths to feed whereas the franchise tournaments can just take the cream off the top, they don’t get charged for the players, they’re very efficient models at getting money back into the players’ pockets but they’re not funding the pathway.

“We’re always going to fund the pathway but having a really strong and healthy pathway is the secret to long-term success, you’ve got to have the players.”

There are question marks over the long-term future of The Hundred following reports that the England and Wales Cricket Board is open to reviewing the format.

There have been two seasons of the eight-team tournament, with a third due to get under way in August, but it continues to divide opinion and attract debate.

The Hundred was effectively ring-fenced and spared scrutiny during the high-performance review of English cricket helmed by Sir Andrew Strauss last year, but with several of its key recommendations discarded the Daily Mail and The Cricketer have reported that the governing body is now ready to put it back on the table. The ECB has been approached for comment.

Reverting to the T20 format and a two-division structure with promotion and relegation is one suggestion, but any changes are unlikely to come quickly. While contracts associated to the competition, from players to backroom staff, typically run year to year and could be unpicked with relative ease, the ECB’s current broadcast deal with Sky runs to 2028 while the BBC’s existing free-to-air arrangement covers at least the next two editions.

It is perhaps relevant that the ECB is currently led by chief executive Richard Gould and chair Richard Thompson. The pair held matching roles at Surrey when The Hundred was first under mooted, with the club forthright in their opposition during their tenure.

Gould has publicly reversed his stance since taking over at the ECB, declaring the 100-ball tournament “a significant success” and predicting it would have “a long future”.

Opinions on The Hundred remain mixed. The elevation of the women’s game has been an unvarnished success, while there is evidence that the scheduling, marketing and ticket pricing have helped attract new fans and a broader demographic to cricket grounds.

But the financial situation is disputed. A report from Worcestershire chair Fanos Hira, a chartered accountant, attaches a £9million loss to the first two seasons but the ECB argues that it turned a profit of £11.8m.

The Hundred has been granted a clear window at the height of summer, taking place throughout August in the immediate aftermath of the Ashes, but appears unlikely to be granted the same luxury in 2024.

Neither Kieron Pollard nor Andre Russell were picked up during the The Hundred Player Draft took place on Thursday, March 23. The successful short-format competition is in its third season and is set to bowl off on August 1 and conclude on August 27.

Despite their power-hitting prowess and propensity for being on winning teams in T20 franchise cricket across the globe, neither player was considered to be good enough for any of the eight Hundred teams.

They were not the only big names to be overlooked as two of the best batters in the world - Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan – were also overlooked by the teams’ selectors.

However, Sunil Narine had much better fortune. He was picked up by the Oval Invincibles and is the only West Indian player in The Hundred for the third season.

Deandra Dottin’s unbeaten 68 proved to be in vain as Manchester Originals’ Women went down by seven wickets with a ball to spare against Northern Superchargers (Women) in a thrilling encounter at Leeds on Sunday.

Andre Russell has once again demonstrated why he is among the most sought-after players in short-form cricket when has blasted a quick-fire half-century and took a wicket as Manchester Originals crushed Southern Brave by 68 runs in Southampton on Thursday.

Russell, 34, smashed an unbeaten 23-ball 64 that included six fours and five sixes in Manchester Originals' mammoth score of 188-2. He was given the perfect platform after openers Joss Buttler (68) and Phil Salt (34) gave the side a solid start with a stand of 64.

Buttler clubbed three fours and five sixes in his 42-ball knock while Salt found the boundary ropes on four occasions and cleared it once is his innings that lasted 22 balls. However, while both knocks were impressive, they paled in comparison to the mayhem that Russell produced scoring at a rate of 278 per cent to drive Manchester to within 12 runs of the 200 mark.

Jake Lintott, who dismissed Salt was the best of the Brave bowlers with 1-28 from 20 balls while Michael Hogan took Buttler’s wicket to finish with 1-48 from his 20 ball allotment.

Faced with a daunting target, Southampton crumbled under the scoreboard pressure, capitulating to 120 all out.

Openers Quinton de Kock (21) and James Vince (20) gave them a good enough platform with an opening stand of 36 but Southampton Brave were simply unable to maintain the scoring rate of 1.88 runs per ball.

George Garton’s 25 from 14 balls and Ross Whiteley 21 from 12 attempted a short-lived late-order revival that would invariably come to nought.
Russell picked up the wicket of the dangerous Tim David, who made a run-a-ball 10 to finish with figures of 1-7 from five balls.

It was Paul Walter, though, who did the most damage with 3-20 from 15 balls. Mark Pattinson and Tristan Stubbs took two wickets each for the Manchester Originals.

For his heroic efforts with bat and ball, Russell was named Player of the Match.




Deandra Dottin produced a match-winning all-round performance in the Women’s 100 competition in England to lead Manchester Originals Women to an 11-run victory over Welsh Fire Women on Tuesday.

Dottin’s unbeaten 37-ball 67 propelled Manchester Originals’ to 156-2 from their 100 balls.

Dottin, who recently retired from international cricket and Sophie Ecclestone, who made an unbeaten 36, were mainly responsible for MO’s winning total after they lost opener, Emma Lamb, for 35 and Lizelle Lee for just three.

Alex Hartley had the best figures for Welsh Fire with 1-17 from 20 balls while Annabel Sutherland took 1-33 from her 20-ball allotment.

Needing 157, Welsh Fire made a fist of it, scoring 145-3, thanks mainly to the efforts of openers Tammy Beaumont who scored 45 from 42 balls with five fours and Hayley Matthews, who smashed 69 from 41 balls, blazing 12 fours along the way.

Dottin dismissed Racheal Haynes for 11 and Sutherland for 0 as the Welsh Fire chase fizzled, to return figures of 2-21 from 15 balls.

Ecclestone who took the prized wicket of Matthews had figures of 1-27 from her 20 balls.


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