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The Hundred: Joe Clarke slams 58 off 31 balls as Manchester Originals inflict first defeat on Welsh Fire | Cricket News

Welsh Fire beaten for the first time in The Hundred as Joe Clarke fires for Manchester Originals in Cardiff; Clarke scores 58 from 31 balls with four sixes and as many fours; Derbyshire duo Leus du Plooy and Matt Critchley impress with bat for Fire

Last Updated: 31/07/21 5:32pm


Joe Clarke struck four sixes and as many fours for Manchester Originals against Welsh Fire

Welsh Fire’s winning run was snapped in Cardiff on Saturday as Joe Clarke added to his glowing reputation with a quick-fire fifty…

STORY OF THE MATCH

Joe Clarke provided the spark for Manchester Originals in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon with his thrilling 58 off just 31 balls helping his side inflict a first defeat of the campaign on Welsh Fire.

Clarke thumped four sixes and as many fours and reached fifty from 25 balls as he bossed a stand of 94 from 50 balls with opening partner Phil Salt (30 off 26) as Originals made a rapid start in their chase of 151.

Originals eventually reached their target with five balls to spare – Colin Munro with the winning boundary – as a Welsh Fire side missing Jonny Bairstow due to England duty lost for the first time after starting the season with wins over Northern Superchargers and Southern Brave.

Originals’ victory was their second in four games, with the men from Emirates Old Trafford also having suffered defeat to Oval Invincibles and seen their game with Superchargers rained off.

Originals are now up to second in the table, one point ahead of third-placed Fire, albeit having played one game more.

CLARKE ON TOP FORM

Boy does Clarke hit the ball hard! Just ask Salt, who had the misfortune of being smashed at the non-striker’s end as Clarke looked to hammer a boundary down the ground off Matt Critchley.

That denied Clarke four but he picked up eight boundaries in total, including four crunching sixes – two down the ground off Critchley and one each off Qais Ahmad and David Payne over the leg-side.

There was touch as well as brutality from Clarke – an exquisite cover-driven four off Critchley showing that in spades – and on this evidence, it is easy to see why many believe the right-hander should be firmly on England’s radar.

DERBYSHIRE DUO FIRE FOR FIRE

Leus du Plooy impressed on his Welsh Fire debut

Leus du Plooy impressed on his Welsh Fire debut

The absence of captain Bairstow handed Leus du Plooy his Welsh Fire debut – and the batter made the most of it with an entertaining 43 off 22 balls.

The left-hander struck four sixes in his knock – two off leg-spinner Matt Parkinson after advancing down the wicket, one off Lockie Ferguson’s 90mph-plus delivery and another off Steven Finn.

Du Plooy’s Derbyshire team-mate Critchley also impressed with the bat, scoring 30 from just 17 balls and putting on 60 from just 32 balls. Fire were on 71 from 60 balls but then blazed 79 from their next 40, principally through Du Plooy and Critchley’s efforts.

Critchley did not have such fun while bowling – the wicket of Salt aside – with Clarke going six, four, six off the leg-spinner at one stage and Colin Ackermann hitting crucial back-to-back boundaries off him later on.

BALL BLOW FOR FIRE

Fire are set to be without Bairstow for the rest of the tournament due to England duty and there will be concerns about seamer Jake Ball now who left the field with an injury of some kind after bowling just 10 deliveries.

The paceman had sent down crucial spells at the death in Fire’s wins over Superchargers and Brave so the Welsh team will be hoping he is back soon.

If he had bowled at the end on Saturday afternoon, who knows what difference he could have made…

Welsh Fire seamer Jake Ball picked up an injury while bowling against Manchester Originals

Welsh Fire seamer Jake Ball picked up an injury while bowling against Manchester Originals

SHARP REACTIONS

Originals spinner Ackermann fielded brilliantly off his own bowling to dismiss Fire captain Ben Duckett for 32 off 21 halls. Ackermann ran to his left after Duckett knocked into the off-side and then shot down the stumps at the bowler’s end as he turned and threw. Duckett short of his ground and his innings over.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Phoenix vs Rockets

August 1, 2021, 10:30am

Live on

Phoenix vs Rockets

August 1, 2021, 2:00pm

Live on

Spirit vs Brave

August 1, 2021, 2:00pm

Live on

Spirit vs Brave

August 1, 2021, 5:30pm

Live on

There are another FOUR games in The Hundred on Sunday as Birmingham Phoenix take on Trent Rockets at Edgbaston and London Spirit host Southern Brave at Lord’s…

– Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets (women’s match) – 10.30am on Sky Sports Cricket YouTube, Sky Sports The Hundred, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event

– Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets (men’s match) – 2pm on Sky Sports The Hundred

– London Spirit vs Southern Brave (women’s match) – 2pm on Sky Sports Cricket YouTube and Sky Sports Mix

– London Spirit vs Southern Brave (men’s match) – 5.30pm on Sky Sports The Hundred, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event

Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports between now and August 21.




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