Mandhana, Wyatt put on a stellar show as Southern Brave storm into the final of The Hundred

Shajin Mohanan S
11 Aug 2021
Mandhana, Wyatt put on a stellar show as Southern Brave storm into the final of The Hundred

Smriti Mandhana (L) and Danielle Wyatt © Getty Images

Batting might of Southern Brave was on full display as openers Danielle Wyatt and Smriti Mandhana rollicked to a 107-run partnership to help their side to a mammoth total and storm into the final of The Hundred beating Welsh Fire by 39 runs in Southampton on Wednesday (August 11). Wyatt and Mandhana were relentless against some insipid bowling and it was eventually too steep a mountain to climb for the Welsh side as they found themselves way short of the target.

Put into bat, it was Brave’s day out as the Southern openers Wyatt and Mandhana took apart all the bowlers, while Fire struggled with the ball and on the field. Wyatt made her intention clear with the first ball she faced as she skipped down and smashed Bryony Smith through mid-off for four.

At the other end, Mandhana had a frantic but lucky start as she was dropped on zero before getting a reprieve on five when she was caught off a no ball. With Fire failing to capitalise on those chances, Wyatt and Mandhana went on a rampage with both of them taking a liking to Piepa Cleary early on. When Wyatt launched Hayley Matthews down the ground for a maximum, Brave were 41 without any loss at the end of the power play.

Meanwhile, Mandhana shook off early blues and smashed Nicole Harvey over the boundary to bring up Brave’s fifty from just 33 balls. The duo took it up a notch and hit Alex Griffiths for three boundaries to take the score to 85 at the halfway stage of the innings. As the right-hand, left-hand pair competed shot-to-shot to race through various sets even as Sophie Luff kept ringing the bowling changes, Wyatt brought up her fifty from just 29 balls with a hit off Cleary in her third set.

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When it looked like there was no respite in sight for Fire with the score going past three-figures in quick time, Harvey and Cleary combined to dismiss Wyatt eventually for 53. But the joy didn't last long for the Welsh side as Sophia Dunkley joined Mandhana to continue the onslaught. Dunkley started with a boundary off Georgia Hennessy before Mandhana got to her second fifty of the competition in the same set.

From there, Mandhana and Dunkley kept going for their shots in their enterprising 25-ball fifty partnership as the southpaw launched Harvey for a maximum over the leg-side before swatting Smith for another six in the next set. Couple of boundaries from Dunkley meant Brave amassed the highest total of the tournament so far despite losing Mandhana and Taylor in the final set. They finished with a mammoth 166 for three from the stipulated 100 balls.

In the steep chase, Fire needed Matthews and Smith to go after the bowling right from the start but they could muster only eight runs from first two sets. Despite the three boundaries from the next 15 balls, Fire were struggling with the score reading only 29 from the power play.

Facing a daunting target, Fire batters had to go for their shots and soon they lost Matthews to Amanda-Jade Wellington after an opening stand of 45 runs. Smith took on Wyatt bravely to hit a four and a six but was caught by Mandhana in the next ball for 33.

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With Stafanie accounting for the big wicket of Sarah Taylor of early, Fire lost their way despite Georgia Redmayne trying to keep up with the pace. Scoring 97 from the last 40 balls was a bit too much for the Fire middle order as they struggled to find regular boundaries. Luff played a few enterprising shots including a couple of sixes but the match was long gone by the time she got out for a well-made 30 off 21 in the penultimate ball of the match. Fire fell short by 39 runs.

Brief Scores: Southern Brave 166/3 in 100 balls (Smriti Mandhana 78, Danielle Wyatt 53) beat Welsh Fire 127/4 in 100 balls (Georgia Redmayne 35*, Bryony Smith 33; Tara Norris 1/11) by 39 runs. POTM: Smriti Mandhana

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