THE HUNDRED: Explaining The Struggles Of Manchester Originals

Sasha Putt reports

Before the tournament began, the Manchester Originals were one of the favourites to make the playoffs of the inaugural Hundred. They boasted a strong spin attack anchored by Sophie Ecclestone, and a batting line-up full of international talent.

But five matches in, the Originals find themselves seventh in the table with the worst Net Run Rate in the competition at -0.391. (This is, at least, something of an improvement – it was considerably worse than that before their first victory against the Southern Brave.)

But why has the team struggled in recent weeks, and what can be done to enable the Old Trafford side to finish the tournament strongly?

A key weakness has been an inability to capitalise on key moments and take control of the game. This was clearly displayed in the first game of the tournament against the Oval Invincibles, where the Originals had put up a good total of 135 and were taking early wickets. The win-predictor had the Invincibles at 7% after 35 balls: surely Manchester’s game to win. Then came a slew of dropped catches and missed opportunities, allowing Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp to rally and take the game.

Manchester’s first home game saw a similar collapse. Excellent bowling from Ecclestone, Emma Lamb and Laura Jackson reduced the Birmingham Phoenix to 113 from their 100 balls. The Originals proceeded to record the lowest score of the tournament so far, managing 93 in their innings, with only two batters getting into double figures.

These two games have illustrated the problems Manchester have had so far, both with the bat and ball. In the loss to Birmingham, Harmanpreet Kaur was criticised for her slow scoring, making 49 off 47 balls. However, criticism belongs with the rest of the Originals’ top order. Until their game against the Southern Brave, Kaur had three out of five of the top scores for Manchester, and her 49* is the second highest score in a losing effort. The rest of the top five averaged below 20 at that point. Ecclestone has been the standout bowler, with a run-per-ball (rpb) of 0.91. Of the other Manchester bowlers to have played in all four games, nobody else features in the top 30 for the tournament.

Things were looking dire a few days ago. The Originals’ stars were performing, but their supporting cast failed to provide the backup needed to bring them over the line. Then, against the Brave, came the much-needed injection of fresh talent. Hannah Jones bowled excellently, removing Danni Wyatt, Smriti Mandhana and Anya Shrubsole at a rpb of 0.85. With Kaur out of the side for the game, the pressure was on for their top order to perform. As the rain came down, up stepped Lizelle Lee and Emma Lamb, bringing them to 97/1 after 70 balls, well above the D/L target of 81.

Manchester’s win in that game was the blueprint of how the team was expected to perform, but the big question is if this is sustainable for the rest of the tournament. Aside from Ecclestone, the Originals’ usual crop of bowlers haven’t performed as well as they would have liked, which places a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Jones to continue her form. This could partially be the result of a squad dominated by spinners, which may work at Old Trafford but runs into problems when playing away. 

On the batting side, although Lee and Lamb batted well against the Brave, Lamb still averages 10 across four innings, with only two top-six batters averaging above 20. Kaur’s strike-rate of 109.47 is low, but her resilience at the crease should create the platform needed for the more explosive bats to put runs on the board later in the innings – unfortunately it has mostly failed to do so thus far.

There is still a good chance that the Originals can meet expectations in the latter stages of the tournament and give their younger talent some vital experience that they can take into next year’s competition. The final three games will be a good indicator of whether this side is over-hyped or merely suffered a few setbacks and lapses in concentration.

To succeed, the push has to come from the players surrounding Manchester’s top performers, who need to show that they can support an innings when one of their stars is firing. If they do, the Originals can turn a poor season into an average one and finish with four wins.

VIDEO: The CRICKETher Weekly Vodcast – Episode 73

This week we’re once again focusing on #TheHundred :

  • How close are Southern Brave to qualification for the final?
  • Sophia Dunkley & Maia Bouchier’s run-chasing masterclass
  • How have we found watching it on TV?
  • Deandra Dottin & helmets
  • The BBC’s decision to extend their coverage of the women’s comp
  • Why are double headers working so well?

THE HUNDRED: Brave v Superchargers – Slam Dunk For The Brave

Southern Brave sent out a clear signal in Saturday’s match at the Ageas Bowl, beating their nearest rivals Northern Superchargers by a mammoth 7 wickets with 13 balls remaining (D/L method). If all goes according to form, these two sides will be meeting again at the final in two weeks time… and on Saturday’s showing, you’d have to say that there is only going to be one winner of the inaugural Hundred (Women’s Competition).

The celebrations from Sophia Dunkley and Maia Bouchier in the middle as Dunkley hit the winning run, simultaneously bringing up her half-century, signalled that this win meant a great deal. If Brave have been following Syd’s Table Analysis Software (TM), they will know that even with 5 wins from 6, they are not yet quite mathematically guaranteed qualification – but with it now a 99% certainty, you’d forgive them if they spent Saturday evening with a few celebratory beers in the dressing room.

Dunkley’s 50* from just 28 balls, at a strike rate of 179, makes her only the fourth English player (after Danni Wyatt, Alice Capsey and Nat Sciver) to rack up a half-century in the tournament. Dunkley’s calling-card has always been her ability to make runs in domestic cricket – she did it in the Women’s County Championship, she did it in the Kia Super League. She now has an England spot nailed down, but her approach hasn’t changed, as demonstrated when – walking out at 5 for 2 – she slammed her first ball (from Linsey Smith) for six.

“The way I play, I want to be aggressive and put the pressure back on the bowlers – I think that’s one of my strengths and I back myself to do that,” she said after the match. “I’m trying to keep it the same old and bat how I’ve always batted and be positive and stick to my strengths, and don’t go too far away from that.”

Dunkley was made Match Hero, but credit should go to Maia Bouchier too, who made 33 not out from 19 balls and helped make what could have been a tricky chase look easy. The pair spent years batting together in age-group for Middlesex – Dunkley described today’s partnership as “rolling back the years” – and their easy communication helped them run hard in a chase when quick singles mattered.

They were assisted by some shoddy fielding by Superchargers. Dunkley was put down twice on 14* by Alice Davidson-Richards, who shelled two return catches off her own bowling – the second one admittedly a tough chance above her head. Another culprit was 19-year-old Bess Heath, who clearly isn’t enjoying being pushed out of her natural wicket-keeping role. Given that Lauren Winfield-Hill isn’t even England’s “back-up” keeper anymore, it seems bizarre that she has taken the gloves in this tournament. Why not let Heath do what she does best, instead of trying to “hide” her in the field?

Another strange captaincy decision came when, at another crucial moment in Brave’s run chase, Winfield-Hill handed the ball to left-arm seamer and debutant Rachel Slater, asking her to bowl balls 41 to 45. The ground announcer failed to recognise her, introducing the bowling change as “Katie Levick”; five balls later, Slater might well have been thankful for the pseudonym – tonked for 15 runs by Dunkley. Before her “five”, Brave needed 46 from 35 balls; afterwards, the equation was 31 from 30 – a walk in the park for a pair of established batters.

Slater was always going to be nervous, playing her first tournament match in front of 7,500 spectators – so why choose that point to introduce her? Interestingly, Dunkley admitted afterwards that she had deliberately targeted Slater. “I’ve never faced her before, I looked at footage yesterday and this morning,” she said. “Being a first game debut, it was the end to target. The bowlers they’ve got are quite experienced so we tried to be tactical about that.”

The Southern Brave “party line” is a consistent one in post-match pressers right now, and Dunkley repeated it again on Saturday: “I don’t think we’ve had a proper complete performance yet throughout the competition.” This message is clearly coming from coach Charlotte Edwards, who is nothing if not a perfectionist. And yet, if this is really is Brave putting in “incomplete performances”, you have to pity the team who come up against them when they do manage that illusive “complete” one.

PREVIEW: Carlton Eyes The Double, But Stew-Mel Could Spoil The Party

Jake Perry looks ahead to the start of the Beyond Boundaries Women’s Scottish Cup, where holders Carlton face a tough home tie against the side that finished just behind them in the Women’s Premier League, Stewart’s Melville. 

The Beyond Boundaries Scottish Cup gets underway this weekend, with four quarter-final ties to decide the teams going forward to Finals Day on 5 September. The tie of the round is at Grange Loan, where newly-crowned Women’s Premier League champions Carlton meet runners-up Stewart’s Melville, the only side to have beaten them in their victorious campaign earlier this summer.

A month has now passed since the league was decided, but while a number of players from both teams have been involved in the ongoing Women’s Super Series, there has been plenty of other action to keep their competitive edge keen.

“We’ve had a few matches,” said Carlton skipper Annette Aitken-Drummond. “We’ve played a few ESCA T16 games and a lot of the players have been playing in the Super Series as well, so there have been quite a few games to keep things ticking along. But we’re really looking forward to getting stuck into our first cup match at the weekend.”

While Carlton’s title win was comfortable in the end, that one blemish on their record adds extra spice to the upcoming encounter. Stew-Mel’s defence of their total of 176 for 8, a score powered by a 91-run opening stand between Catherine Holland and Emma Walsingham, withstood the pressure of a brilliant late comeback from Samantha Haggo and Charis Scott, and while the challenge of Holland’s team fell away as the season progressed, Annette is expecting a similarly testing encounter. 

“It’s a very tough game for us to have first up,” she said, “but we feel we’ve got the players who can go out and do the job for us. They have obviously got some good players too, but we’re going to give it everything and hopefully get to that Finals Day.” 

And while the year began with the league as the main target for the current cup-holders, thoughts have inevitably turned towards what would be an historic double. 

“If we could go out there and become the first women’s team to do the league and cup double, that would obviously be a great achievement,” said Annette. “It’s something that we have chatted about and it’s something that we have our sights set on, so fingers crossed it starts to come together at the weekend.” 

Another intriguing tie is at Nunholm, where Dumfries & Galloway take on West of Scotland, who finished the WPL season with a near-identical record. West’s final position was skewed by the COVID-cancellation of their first two rounds of matches, however, and Charlotte Dalton-Howells’s side will be keen to make the most of their opportunity to salvage something special from what has been a particularly frustrating year. 

Royal High Corstorphine visit Craiglockhart to take on George Watson’s College in a repeat of the opening match of the league season. That ended in a comfortable win for Megan Taylor’s team, who went on to have an up-and-down sort of campaign, mixing fine wins with narrow losses. While injury has robbed them of Ikra Farooq, they are still capable of beating anyone on their day, and despite the abundance of young talent who have made their mark for GWC, the Barnton team are likely to have too much firepower for them again. 

The final tie of the round is at Myreside, where Watsonians meet Grange, the side with whom they combined in the WPL this year. A third-placed finish was the result after three excellent wins saw them draw level on points, if not run-rate, with Stew-Mel in the final standings. It will be particularly fascinating to see how this game pans out – for two of Edinburgh’s oldest clubs, a first-ever trip to Finals Day is now guaranteed. 

Beyond Boundaries Scottish Cup Quarter-finals – 8 August (Reserve Day 15 August):

Watsonians v Grange (at Myreside)

Dumfries & Galloway v West of Scotland (at Nunholm)

Carlton v Stewart’s Melville (at Grange Loan)

George Watson’s College v Royal High Corstorphine (at Craiglockhart)


Jake Perry is the author of The Secret Game

Twitter: @jperry_cricket / Facebook: Jake Perry Cricket

As part of their ongoing coverage of men’s and women’s domestic cricket, The Cricket Scotland Podcast will include a round-up of the Super Series every Tuesday, with analysis and player interviews along with those from other featured games. Follow @ScotlandPod on Twitter for all the latest information.

OPINION: Removing Your Helmet Should Not Be Glorified

If the aim of The Hundred is to get more young fans engaging with cricket, on Tuesday at Lord’s it seemed like Deandra Dottin was helping achieve that aim brilliantly. She hit successive boundaries, winning the match for her side (London Spirit) by just two balls. But just before hitting those two winning shots, she took off her helmet.

Dottin was subsequently voted the “Match Hero” (Player of the Match); her decision to bat without a helmet for the last five balls was praised by the Sky commentators, and some journalists, as signalling that she “meant business”.

In fact, Dottin’s decision to remove her helmet put her in clear danger; while the media coverage praising her decision was both dangerous and irresponsible.

The tragic death of 25-year-old Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes in 2014, two days after being hit on the back of the head by a cricket ball, was a reminder of how dangerous our sport can be. Hughes was wearing a helmet, of course; nonetheless research shows that modern cricket helmets – which have been in widespread use in women’s cricket for two decades – offer the best protection against potentially lethal or life-changing injuries.

Dottin is well aware of the dangers head injuries can pose. In November 2019, her West Indies teammate Chinelle Henry became the first woman to necessitate the invocation of the ICC’s new “concussion substitute” rule in international cricket, when she dived into an advertising board, hit her head, and suffered from a prolonged concussion, leading to her absence for the rest of the series against India.

As a journalist, I recently underwent training with the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), a non-profit organisation which aims to support those with and raise awareness of concussion. Their Media Project offers education for working journalists to ensure appropriate concussion reporting, as science and policy advances.

The CLF media programme offers information about the basics of concussion signs, symptoms and diagnoses; and, crucially, tips on the right – and wrong – ways to cover concussion as a commentator or writer.

Undertaking the programme taught me the importance of never, ever glorifying a player for playing on through a concussion, or referring to them as “heroic” for doing so. Potential concussions, and other head injuries, need to be taken seriously.

Some of those watching suggested on Twitter that Dottin’s rule-break should be overlooked because it was against spin bowling, not pace bowling. But the fact is that facing slower bowling does not make you immune to head injuries: an impact from something as hard as a cricket ball does not have to be very hard to be potentially fatal.

The evidence on the dangers of head injuries in cricket is so clear that in 2015, the ECB introduced a new rule, stating that all batters in professional cricket in England would be required to wear helmets. Dottin’s removal of her helmet was therefore not just irresponsible, it actually broke the rules of the  Hundred competition.

The question is, what will the ECB do about it? As of now, no action has been announced. But it is important not to let the incident slide.

Firstly, Dottin is a role model for a generation of young girl (and boy) cricketers watching at home and at the ground. If one of their formative experiences of professional women’s cricket is of their “match hero” pulling off a win by dispensing with her helmet, what kind of message does that send?

Secondly, it is well-known that some cricketers remain convinced that helmets prevent them from performing at their best. In 2016 former England captain Alastair Cook objected to the ICC’s new, safer helmet design, with journalists reporting that he found it uncomfortable, while Sophie Devine is known to prefer to bat helmetless under some circumstances if rules allow. If there are no repercussions for Dottin’s rule-breaking, it may well lead to other players copying her in an attempt to repeat her feat – placing themselves in danger.

The media should take note of this, and consider much more carefully how they report on similar incidents. If it is important to report on potential concussions seriously, it is equally important to report on safety measures in ways that do not glorify those who try to dispense with them.

Praising Dottin for “meaning business” and “smashing it in a bandana” sends out a wrong message to those watching that protective equipment is optional, and hinders performance. This is a terrible message to be sending to anyone, but especially to the ECB’s targeted audience for The Hundred – young girls and boys.

Overall, then, the ECB needs to send out a clear signal to players and fans that removing your helmet while batting is not acceptable. Two possible options would be to dock a point from London Spirit, or to prevent Dottin from playing in the next match.

Would these be drastic sanctions? Yes, they would be. But an action of this type would clearly reinforce the crucial message: A cricket helmet is not optional, because it could just save your life.

NEWS: Suzie Bates In New Zealand Squad But No Amelia Kerr

Suzie Bates has been included in New Zealand’s 16-strong squad to tour England in September, suggesting that she is hopeful of being fit to play in her first international matches since an injury forced her to leave the WBBL bubble last November to undergo shoulder surgery.

Sophie Devine, who took a break from international cricket earlier this year citing fatigue, will also return as captain for the England tour.

However, Amelia Kerr has opted out of the tour due to personal circumstances, citing the need to prioritise her mental health and well-being.

“I love representing New Zealand and playing for the White Ferns,” Kerr said. “However, after plenty of consultation with my support network, putting my mental health and well-being first is my number one priority.”

“I’ve not taken this decision lightly – I feel this is best for me at the current time.”

Brooke Halliday, who impressed on debut against England earlier in the year, has been included; while Wellington Blaze wicket-keeper Jess McFadyen and Central Districts seamer Claudia Green have both earned maiden call-ups to the side, after impressing in domestic cricket last season.

The tour begins on 1 September with a T20 at Chelmsford, and will comprise 3 T20 matches and 5 ODIs in total.

The full New Zealand squad is below:

  • Sophie Devine (c) (Wellington Blaze)
  • Amy Satterthwaite (vc) (Canterbury Magicians)
  • Suzie Bates (Otago Sparks)
  • Lauren Down (Auckland Hearts)
  • Claudia Green (Central Districts Hinds)
  • Maddy Green (Wellington Blaze)
  • Brooke Halliday (Northern Districts Spirit)
  • Hayley Jensen (Otago Sparks)
  • Jess Kerr (Wellington Blaze)
  • Katey Martin (wk) (Otago Sparks)
  • Leigh Kasperek (Wellington Blaze)
  • Rosemary Mair (Central Districts Hinds)
  • Jess McFadyen (wk) (Wellington Blaze)
  • Thamsyn Newton (Wellington Blaze)
  • Hannah Rowe (Central Districts Hinds)
  • Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury Magicians) 

THE HUNDRED: Invincibles v Fire – You’re Fired!

Momentum is a funny thing – just ask the next asteroid you meet! One minute you’re hurtling through space, with more of it than you know what to do with, the next you’re splattered all over the Yucatan Peninsular, taking the entire dinosaur genus out with you. Ouch!

And “Ouch!” probably sums up how the Oval Invincibles are feeling right about now. Having won their opening two games, thanks to match-winning knocks from Dane van Niekerk and Alice Capsey, the momentum was with them. But since then they’ve fallen short twice, chasing low totals – falling 4 runs short needing 110 versus the Superchargers, and 12 runs short chasing 113 against the Fire on Monday.

The result blows the race for third place wide open, with Fire, Invincibles and Rockets all level on 4 points.

Although Sarah Taylor was today’s Player of the Match, catching the eye with a couple of those reverse cuts we first saw when she was playing for the Diamonds earlier this year in the regional T20s, there were other contributions that were equally important.

Georgia Redmayne and Hayley Matthews helping themselves to 24 runs off a 10-ball spell from Grace Gibbs, between balls 30-40, was hugely significant in a low-scoring game. With an “average” 10-ball spell going for just 11 runs on Monday, that extra 13 was critical, and of course later proved to be almost the exact margin of victory.

Nonetheless, 112 felt significantly below par – a calm, sensible batting performance from the Invincibles was all it was going to take to chase them down at little more than a run a ball.

Instead, they got off to a disastrous start – losing Georgia Adams for a duck thanks to some brilliant glove-work from Sarah Taylor, who turned a fumble and a slightly wayward return from Nicole Harvey into a run-out from nowhere as Adams ambled back to her ground. (Adams, who played with Taylor at Sussex for over a decade, really should have known better!)

Nonetheless, Alice Capsey and Grace Gibbs looked to be getting things back on track, until Capsey was bowled by Harvey for 14 off 12. Capsey was the last Invincibles batter (until Jo Gardner came in at the end with the game already gone) to hit at a Strike Rate of more than 100, and while it is true that the Invincibles didn’t need to go at 100mph, they did at least need to go at something close to a run-a ball in order to give themselves a chance at the death.

Fran Wilson’s role probably isn’t to do that, so she can be forgiven for going at a Strike Rate of 87 and trying to anchor the innings; but it is hard to say the same about van Niekerk, who made 8 off 16 balls before she was put out of her misery. Harvey, who finished with two wickets but more importantly conceded just 11 runs from 15 balls, was another vital spoke in the wheel of victory.

And of course Katie George also did her bit. Unable to bowl due to injury, she has been relegated to the role of specialist boundary rider so far during this tournament, but she made it count against Invincibles with 3 catches to dismiss van Niekerk, the dangerous Mady Villiers and Tash Farrant.

She also did it against the backdrop of a wickedly partisan 10,000-strong crowd, many of whom were actively willing her to fail – not something we’re used to seeing in women’s cricket in England, even at international level during the Women’s Ashes.

Talking about it after the game, George said: “I was getting a little bit of stick, but personally, I relish it – I feel I play my best cricket when there are people watching, and it definitely spurs me on to do well. I take it all in good spirit – I know if I was in the crowd watching, which I often am, I’d be giving it the same.”

It’s the right attitude to have, and obviously it is par for the course in something like the men’s T20 Blast for example, but it does feel like a slightly odd sort of progress towards equality compared to the KSL, where even on Finals Day, crowds would cheer but never jeer.

Next up for the Fire is the Trent Rockets on Friday. With both sides currently separated only by Net Run Rate in the race for 3rd, it’s a proper “Four Pointer” which could well end up being the difference between a spot in the 2nd v 3rd “Eliminator” or a taxi home. They remain the underdogs, but if the Fire can pull off another win then that 3rd place will be theirs to lose.

EXCLUSIVE: Police Called To Lord’s During The Hundred Double Header As ECB “Family-Friendly” Claims Come Under Scrutiny

The authorities at Lord’s were forced to call in the police on Sunday evening during the men’s half of the double-header between London Spirit and Southern Brave, due to drunk spectators.

The spectators were ejected from the ground but it is understood that no further action was taken by the police.

The events occurred during a week in which the ECB’s claims that The Hundred is a “family-friendly” tournament have come under increasing scrutiny, with Nick Howson from The Cricketer reporting that he experienced “a deeply unpleasant mood” at Lord’s on Thursday: “Young families cowered into corners out of harm’s way to avoid being caught up among the inebriated hoards parents attempting to shield their children from uncoordinated individuals merely trying to stay afloat.”

The incident involving the police occurred despite the MCC’s decision – after complaints in the wake of the first two Hundred match days hosted at Lord’s – to alter the ground regulations, introducing a cap of two alcoholic drinks per transaction and closing all public bars halfway through the men’s match.

Spectators at Lord’s can also now request to be moved if they feel uncomfortable with where they are seated. However, the measures have clearly not been entirely successful at stamping out the kind of behaviour which is anathema to the ECB’s marketing of The Hundred as “family-friendly”.

THE HUNDRED: Spirit v Brave – History Made, Poorly Played

When cricket historians come to write their chronicles of The Hundred, 1 August 2021 will be an important date. It was the day that finally, after 72 years, the record for biggest crowd at a domestic match in England (previously 15,000 for Yorkshire v Lancashire Women set at Roundhay Park in 1949) was broken – 15,189 people turning up to see Southern Brave defeat London Spirit by 7 wickets at Lord’s.

Those same historians, though, might well diplomatically overlook what happened on the pitch in their accounts – for this was a spectacle that was far from edifying, certainly in comparison with what we have seen so far in the women’s competition.

If London Spirit’s scorecard makes for miserable reading – only Tammy Beaumont (34 from 45 balls) achieved double figures – watching Spirit’s batters get themselves out one by one did not make for much happier viewing. The sight of Heather Knight sending up the tamest of catches to Smriti Mandhana at cover was definitely not one for sore eyes. 93 all out in 96 balls (with 25 of them coming in wides) – ouch.

Even Beaumont batted at a meagre strike rate of 76 – not the kind of innings we have come to expect from one of England’s most dynamic T20 batters.

“It’s been a bit tough for me,” Beaumont admitted after the match. “I had to miss two games to go to my brother’s wedding. It was supposed to only be one, and it got changed last minute. I was a week or so without cricket, so I feel like I’m playing catch-up a little bit.”

“I think it’s just a bit of a confidence thing. Mentally playing in your mind that we’re 4 games in but I’m only 2 games in. I’ve just got to keep going but hopefully it will come good eventually.”

“I’m striking it well in the nets,” she added – and she’s right. I was at the ground early enough to watch her having a net before the match, and she looked in incredible touch, as did Heather Knight. You have to ask, then, what is preventing them from translating that into match situations. This was a side who were touted (by us and others) as one to beat before the competition got underway; yet it seems – judging by the body language of the players today – that all is not well in the London Spirit dressing room.

And so to the Brave, who have now gone top of the table after four wins in as many matches. And yet, in the words of Amanda-Jade Wellington: “We still haven’t really put on a 100% performance… it’s not how we want to bowl.” Well, quite. Giving away 25 wides to your opponents, 20 of which came in the powerplay, is… not ideal.

Praise where it’s due: Brave pulled it back well after a shoddy start, with Wellington adjusting her length to make it difficult for the batters to get her away, meting out a maiden “five” before going on to take 4 wickets. “On a wicket like that I really had to change up my pace and variations and length as well, that was really key,” she said after the match. “I saw early on it was turning quite a bit, so I had to change my plans.”

Carla Rudd also had a day to remember behind the stumps, pulling off 3 important stumpings, (admittedly the first one coming after an initial fumble against Deepti Sharma); while Maia Bouchier hit the sweetest of sixes over long-on in her not-out 15.

But Brave’s chase – pulled off with only 8 balls to spare – was far from convincing: Danni Wyatt looked scrappy; Sophia Dunkley ending up plonking it straight into the hands of Dottin at backward point; and Stafanie Taylor’s contribution was built on luck rather than judgement or placement.

The Hundred has proved brilliantly successful for women’s cricket to date, measured purely on getting people through the gates; and we’ve seen some special performances from the likes of Lauren Bell, Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Capsey.

Not every match can be the perfect spectacle – that’s the nature of sport. But equality for the women’s game means more than just tweeting excitedly when we like what we see – it is also about calling it out when a match is poor quality. Let’s not be scared to admit that (crowd aside), today’s game was hardly one for The Hundred’s highlights reel.