It was a nail-biting and tense men’s Hundred final, but the Trent Rockets came out on top against the Manchester Originals by two wickets. It’s fair to say that with a target of 121 to win, the Rockets struggled, leaving them with 11 to find from the final five balls. But up stepped skipper Lewis Gregory, who hit a six, a four and a single to secure victory.
When you need someone to step up to the plate and deliver, Gregory has proven himself to be someone who the Rockets can rely on to get the job done. And, on hitting the winning run, the captain let out an almighty roar and watched on as batting partner Luke Wood launched his bat in the air in sheer delight.
It’d be fair to say that when the Originals’ Richard Gleeson stood ready to bowl, it was his team that were favourites to win the contest and be crowned champions. But twelve-time England cap Gregory had other ideas as he sent Gleeson’s delivery flying into the stands to get the Rockets into prime position. It was the six that was the difference maker, as the crowd went wild, and the momentum changed.
Now, in the eyes of many, as the match winner, Gregory was out in front when it came to the Match Hero award. But, instead, the honour went to Rockets’ bowler Sam Cook, who managed to secure four wickets. Cook took the wickets in just eighteen runs, which proved crucial in his team winning the final. But, all in all, it was a team effort, and the Rockets impressed on all fronts.
Cook, 25, is a seamer who has come through the ranks playing county cricket with Essex and is yet to be capped by England. But, after an impressive display where he dismissed Laurie Evans, the Originals captain, and Wayne Masden early on, people are bound to stand up and take notice. His reappearance at the death, where he delivered a couple of yorkers, which earned him the Match Hero award, won’t harm his chances.
While it proved to be a great occasion for the Rockets, it was sheer disappointment for the Originals, who came into the final with a win streak of six to build on. As a result, they were the favourites to be crowned Hundred champions, but they fell just short, largely thanks to how well the likes of Gregory and Cook performed.
On the bat, the Originals didn’t hit the numbers expected. But they managed to recover the situation thanks to their bowlers. And it was at this point the pendulum of momentum swung back in favour of the Originals. But, they can perhaps take solace knowing that nobody would have been able to prevent the magnificent six that Gregory hit. Evans, as a result, was gracious in defeat in what was an excellent and well-played final at Lord’s.