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Alex Hales Leads Trent Rockets to Hundred’s Opening Victory

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Trent Rockets started their Hundred campaign with a six-wicket win over Birmingham Phoenix before a full Trent Bridge.

Birmingham beat their Midlands rivals at home and away in the inaugural season but were beaten well this time as Alex Hales led with 58 balls from 41.

He shared partnerships of 52-of-33 with Colin Munro (36-of-22) and 79-of-54 with Joe Root, who finished with 34 not from 26 when skipper Lewis Gregory hit the breakeven with three balls to go.

Liam Livingstone hit five sixes in his 28-ball 47 and Moeen Ali three in his 21-ball 35 for Phoenix, but with four Rockets bowlers conceding 1.2 runs per ball or fewer, Daniel Sams took three for 24, theirs 143 balls out of 100 always looked huntable even on a slow incline.

Phoenix lost Will Smeed on ball 12, but Moeen turned a modest power play into a decent one with back-to-back sixes ahead of Matt Carter.

Ali looked in the mood to beat Rashid Khan for another maximum as he and Miles Hammond – a late replacement after Australia’s Matthew Wade scratched himself from illness – added 53 from 31 before Ali Rashid deep in the center of the gate.

A few chances for Tom Kohler-Cadmore were lost, the biggest allowing Livingstone an escape to eight when he fumbled a stumbling chance in front of Samit Patel, but two wickets in four balls from the veteran left-arm spinner dropped Hammond for 28-of-19 over one fine catch in the depths of Hales and new man Dan Mousley caught in the middle.

Chris Benjamin also went cheap and with Phoenix needing to find something, Livingstone supplied them with three straight sixes down the side of Rashid’s leg, whose 20 balls cost a painful 39 runs.

But left-arm Sear Luke Wood conceded just seven runs in straight sets on death, between which Livingstone potted to a long-off to give Sams a big wicket from his last ball.

Dawid Malan died on the fifth ball to one that slipped under his racquet as Rockets began their pursuit, but 29 balls out of 10 – 24 for Munro, including consecutive sixes after Graeme van Buuren’s left-arm spin – they had with 47 up front for one from 25

As the field spread, the hit rate slowed. Munro, careful not to be tied up, paid the price when a top edge dragged Livingstone to a short fine leg to see him fall off ball 38. Hales drove Ball 40 to the fence, but the next 25 made no limit.

Hales rectified that with two sixes over Van Buuren’s wide long-on, although the first was technically a drop on the rope when Hammond skimmed it and dropped the target from 30 balls to 39, with the next two sets from Imran Tahir and Moeen lick 21 more.

A four-pull-to-deep midwicket put Hales on his first fifty in that format, and although he failed to catch a steep return catch from Tom Helm, who also took the wicket from Kohler-Cadmore on death, he had the task ultimately made a simple task one.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/alex-hales-phoenix-moeen-ali-colin-munro-rashid-khan-b2139847.html Alex Hales Leads Trent Rockets to Hundred’s Opening Victory

Fry Electronics Team

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