Rachel Priest lights up Lord's as Trent Rockets register their first win of The Hundred

Rachel Priest lights up Lord's as Trent Rockets register their first win of The Hundred

Rachel Priest © Getty Images

Swashbuckling batting performance from Rachel Priest and Natalie Sciver followed by a clinical execution from the bowling unit helped Trent Rockets beat London Spirits by 18 runs at Lord's and register their first win of the tournament on Thursday (July 29).

Priest had just got out, Rockets were cruising at 101 for one after 67 balls. It was a chance for the Spirits to pull things back and get back some control in the game. In the 12 balls after the dismissal, they gave away only nine runs. Sharma had been at her best with the ball, bowling wicket-to-wicket, not giving away any width to Sciver or even Priest earlier. She had given 12 runs in 14 balls till then. That's when Sciver showed up.

The allrounder had been trying to use the crease against the off-spinner, trying to hit her on either side of the square. On the final delivery of Sharma's third set, Sciver shuffled across to the off-stump, going deep into the crease, giving her enough width to pull the off-spinner behind square for a boundary.

In the next set, Sciver tried to hit Danielle Gibson over long-on. She could have got out had Alice Monaghan not moved ten yards inside of the boundary rope. Off the very next delivery, Sciver held her shape and launched Gibson over long-off. She followed it up with another six - this time over wide long-on.

By the time she got out for 32 from 16 balls, the Rockets had already crossed the 140-run mark. They eventually finished with 151 for four in 100 balls. Freya Davies was the pick of the bowler, giving away just 19 runs in 10 balls and taking a wicket.

Earlier, opting to bat first, Rockets had a sedate start with both the openers - Priest and Sammy-Jo Johnson - adding 26 runs together in the powerplay. There were as many as ten dot balls in the first five sets.

However, Priest teed off with a four off Chloe Tryon's first delivery - a high full-toss placed behind square. The next full-toss from Tryon was deposited in the stands over deep mid-wicket by Priest. When the South African allrounder compensated the length with a short-and-wide delivery, Priest cut her through point for another boundary.

There was no looking back for Priest from there. The Rockets opener smashed the bowlers down the ground and over deep mid-wicket whenever she could get under the delivery, bringing up her fifty in just 29 balls. When Naomi Dattani came back for her second spell, Priest clobbered the left-arm seamer twice over the leg-side boundary. It took a blinder of a catch from Tammy Beaumont at deep mid-wicket to get rid of Priest. By then, she had done the damage, smashing 76 runs from 42 balls.

Chasing the highest target set by any team in the tournament so far,  Spirit openers went after Rockets seamers early in the powerplay. Dattani charged down at Katherine Brunt and top-edged one for a boundary. Her next shot, however, was a crisp backfoot punch through covers. Beaumont, at the other end, flicked Johnson through mid-wicket, following it with a glorious off-drive.

Brought in to break the partnership, Kathryn Bryce delivered with the wicket of Beaumont, who made 13 from 12 balls. Brunt got rid of Dattani in the next set, and the pressure was now on skipper Heather Knight and Deandra Dottin to keep them in the chase. Dottin did exactly the same, pulling Sciver off the front-foot for a six. She dispatched the next couple of deliveries behind square and wide of mid-off.

Knight, for her part, hit a couple of extra cover drives off Sarah Glenn. When Brunt came on, Dottin smacked her into the stands over deep mid-wicket. Her final delivery was driven powerfully wide of mid-off by Dottin. Just when it seemed like the West Indies batter would take the game away from the Rockets, she was run out at the non-striker's end for 29 runs from 19 balls, thanks to a mix-up between her and Knight.

Sharma and Tryon fell in a short span, leaving Knight to fight a lone battle. After 66 balls, Spirits were struggling at 88 for four. She made a fighting 31 from 25 before succumbing to the run-rate pressure. They eventually fell short by 18 runs, finishing with 133/7 in 100 balls. Lucy Higham was the star performer for the Rockets with the ball, taking two wickets for 12 runs.

Brief Scores:

Trent Rockets: 151/4 in 100 balls (Rachel Priest 76, Freya Davies 1/19) beat London Spirits: 133/7 in 100 balls (Heather Knight 31, Lucy Higham 2/12) by 18 runs.

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