The Hundred Men | Final: Southern Brave crowned inaugural champions courtesy Sterling and Whiteley show

Aryasekhar Chakraborty

Aryasekhar Chakraborty

Author| Aug 22, 2:54 AM

Image Courtesy: Twitter
Image Courtesy: Twitter

Paul Stirling's menace with the bat and then a super throw from Tim David to get Liam Livingstone of Birmingham Phoenix run out meant that Southern Brave was crowned the inaugural champions of the Men’s Hundred. They thrashed Phoenix by 32 runs in the finale at Lord’s. 

Riding on two exceptional knocks from Paul Stirling and Ross Whiteley, the Southern Brave managed to post a commendable 168 on the board in their allotted hundred deliveries and in the end, their bowlers were up to the mark and managed to restrict the Phoenix to 136 runs, thus winning the Final by a convincing 32 runs. 

After being put in to bat by the Phoenix skipper Moeen Ali, the Southern Brave were under early pressure, losing South African Quinton de Kock early on in the game. After the southpaw smashed a maximum, it was Kiwi speedster Adam Milne who brought about his dismissal as de Kock tried to help one over the short fine leg fielder. Skipper James Vince couldn’t do much to a googly from Imran Tahir which castled him to put Brave under all sorts of pressure. 

From there on it was Paul Stirling who ensured that Brave's were well and truly in the game smashing the Phoenix bowlers all around Lord’s en route to his 36 balls 61. His innings was studded with a couple of fours and six humungous sixes. Some of his shots over the midwicket and square leg region were a sheer personification of brute force. It was Benny Howell who finally dismissed Stirling at a very crucial juncture of the game. 

Tim David, who was roped in by Brave for the Knockouts in place of Colin de Grandhomme after his great showing during the Royal London Cup, hit 15 runs off just six balls. However, the real impetus to push the score over the 160 mark was done by Ross Whiteley who blazed his way to a 19 balls unbeaten 44 which was laced with four fours and as many sixes. 

Right from the word go it was a dream spell from Milne who finished his 20 deliveries by conceding just 8 runs and scalping out two crucial wickets.

A target of 169 was always going to be a challenging ask for the Phoenix. Phoenix needed big knocks from Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali to get near the target. Both the batsmen kept their team in the game but in the end, it was too little too late. 

David Bedingham and Will Smeed were dismissed early on to reduce the Pheonix to 14/2. However, Livingstone who has been in a stupendous form off late had other ideas. He started belting the Southern Brave’s bowler all around the park and in no time was near his half-century mark. 

After surviving a close shave at deep cover, he was eventually dismissed on the same delivery as Tim David inflicted an exceptional direct throw from the deep. From there on it was a matter of whether or not Moeen Ali can take the rest along with him. But Jake Lintott, the highest wicket-taker for the Brave this season got him out. 

After his dismissal, it was always going to be an uphill task for the Pheonix. Some tight bowling in the death ensured that the target remained well away from their grasp. Three boundaries came in the final set of five of the tournament, but that wasn’t enough to get the Pheonix score to the victory target.

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