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Trent Rockets secure nail-biting win over Welsh Fire to move off foot of Hundred table

14 Aug 2023 4 minute read
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Trent Rockets climbed from bottom of the table to third with a nail-biting win over Welsh Fire, as bowler John Turner held his nerve with 14 required from the final five balls.

Turner finished with superb figures of one for 22, while Rockets were able to set a competitive total thanks to New Zealander Colin Munro, who smashed 66 off 35 balls after his team had been reduced to 40 for four early on. In the end they reached 152 for six.

The defeat is a blow to Fire’s hopes of a top-three finish, as they let Rockets off the hook with the ball and never really got going with the bat.

It came down to the last ball, with Roelof van der Merwe needing to hit a six to win, but he could only manage a single as Fire finished on 148 for six, Joe Clarke top-scoring with 54 off 34.

This was billed as Trent Rockets’ international top order batting against the equally international class of the Welsh Fire bowling attack, and the home side opted to bowl first to unleash that threat.

It went the way of the bowlers early on, with England’s David Willey dismissing both openers.

Alex Hales got a thin edge through to wicketkeeper Joe Clarke who took a fine diving catch, while Dawid Malan was out lbw trying to guide the ball down to fine leg – a review showing it would have clipped leg stump.


Joe Root started in typically busy fashion and also unfurled the ramp shot he has used so often this summer, but it was to get him out from a Jake Ball slower delivery as the lack of pace saw the ball just spoon up to Clarke.

When Van der Merwe got his first ball to turn and dismiss Tom Kohler-Cadmore, trying to force off the back foot, the Rockets were in serious trouble at 40 for four after 41 balls.

Samit Patel hit Van der Merwe for a 94-metre six, but then perished next ball trying to repeat the shot, this time top-edging into the covers to be caught by Stephen Eskinazi.

Munro should have been run out after a brilliant piece of boundary fielding by Haris Rauf, but Shaheen Shah Afridi tried to throw the stumps down when a simple throw through to keeper Clarke would have been enough.

He hit Van der Merwe for two big sixes, with another off Rauf taking Munro to his half-century off 27 balls. Despite that, Pakistan ace Rauf conceded just 19 off his 20 balls.

New Zealander Munro finished on 66 off 35 balls as he steered his side to a competitive total of 152 for six.

Eskinazi was dropped by Daniel Sams off John Turner on five, but the bowler was not to be denied when he hit the off stump of Jonny Bairstow, the England man’s second low score out of two games for Welsh Fire as he departed for three.

The home side fell behind the required rate early on, struggling particularly against the swing of Luke Wood. The acceleration needed to come, but Eskinazi perished trying to hit Sams over the top, caught by Root coming in from long off.

Luke Wells was dropped by Munro at deep square off Lewis Gregory on three, but departed for eight after Sams made no mistake on another skied effort off Ish Sodhi.

Clarke and Tom Abell did not find things easy but managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over without ever getting ahead of the rate, needing 34 from the final 15 balls.

The first five of those went for no runs, with Abell run out and Clarke given out off the fifth.

However, it turned out to be a no-ball and a free hit, which Clarke smashed for six to keep Fire alive needing 26 off the final 10.

Glenn Phillips hit 12 of those off Sams before being caught at long off, leaving Clarke and David Willey 14 to get from the final set.

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