In a dramatic men’s Hundred final on Saturday at Lord’s, Trent Rockets skipper Lewis Gregory led from the front as his team overcame Manchester Originals by two wickets with just two balls remaining.
Given the impact eight newly formed clubs have had on the schedules of the current 18 first-class counties, the conclusion of the second season of the 100 balls per side tournament, a contentious innovation in English cricket, appeared to be a one-sided contest.
Australian Ashton Turner’s 26 was the highest score of the innings as the Rockets held the Originals to a fairly modest 120-9 on a slow pitch, with medium-pacer Sam Cook taking 4-18.
However, Dawid Malan of England, who was batting, scored 19 for the Rockets, while Alex Hales, who was vying for a return to the international team, was only out for eight.
The Rockets needed 11 runs from the final five balls of England international Richard Gleeson’s bowling to win at 110-8 (the Hundred does not use conventional overs).
Gregory, an English all-rounder himself, immediately smashed Gleeson over mid-off for six, then flicked the next full toss for four, before smacking the go-ahead run as he reached 17 not out after six balls.
Gregory remarked, “It was good to be there at the end and get the team over the line.”