Sam Billings led the Invincible in the Oval to a nine-run triumph against the originals of Manchester, as the 18 000 fans cheered out of the booths and a day after the women’s tournament took off, drove off the 100-ball programmer of the men.
After his rival, Jos Buttler, decided to bowl first, Billings, Captain in Invincibles, scored 49 of 30 on a lenient second-hand pitch at the Oival. In Jason Roy and in Sam Curran, Tom Hartley was responsible for both the openers and the latter was off the fifth spot. In his 12-ball 22, Roy crossed four boundaries, but his removal from the 23rd ball of the innings focussed on the middle order.
The attempt at Sunil Narine No.3 also failed at this point in time, with Fred Klaassen catching the Western Indian straight forward. At 32/3 Billings strolled out and soon losing Will Jacks at the spin of Matthew Parkinson, but Colin Ingram’s presence assisted burgheon a defining 57-run stand off 37 balls and set the way for a score of 145/8, which seemed short in midway marks. The last 10 balls came only from 14 runs, but Tom Curran chipped in with twenty-nine balls, and 18 were not off.
Billings opened with Sam Curran and Saqib Mahmood from both directions defending 145 against Jos Buttler and Colin Munro. It surprised me a little when two bowlers were the only ones to produce 20 deliveries at their first innings, but when Sam Curran got rid of Philip Salt in a prolonged 10-ball opening session, the tactic reaped immediate benefits.
Narine substituting for Sam Curran and impacting on Buttler’s all-important wicket. It was also a wicket from Ingram who went all along to hang over the front edge. Narine did not choose another wicket, but in his 20-ball session, he ended up with 8 points that was just definable.