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Hundred champions Southern Brave thrash Welsh Fire by nine wickets in 2022 curtain-raiser

Southern Brave defeats Welsh Fire by nine wickets as inaugural Hundred champions get off to a flying start in their title defense – led by James Vince’s knockout of 71 runs from 41 balls

  • Southern Brave defeated Welsh Fire by nine wickets to start 2022 Hundred term
  • Brave captain Vince started the second edition of the Hundred with 71 from 41 balls
  • Fire struggled to under par 107 for seven in their 100 balls, while Brave won easily

James Vince continued his brilliant white ball form as Southern Brave kicked off their Hundred Defense with a nine-wicket hammering from Welsh Fire.

Brave captain Vince was Vitality Blast’s top scorer with 678 runs and started the second running of the Hundred with 71 from 41 balls, with opening partner Alex Davies hitting a complementary 26.

Previously, Fire skipper Ben Duckett scored 40 out of 31 deliveries, with the second-highest score being just 11, as Fire struggled to under par 107 for seven in their 100 balls.

James Vince (right) was destructive with the bat as the Southern Brave defeated Welsh Fire

James Vince (right) was destructive with the bat as the Southern Brave defeated Welsh Fire

Brave captain Vince hit 71 from 41 balls while the defending champion won by nine wickets

Brave captain Vince hit 71 from 41 balls while the defending champion won by nine wickets

Craig Overton dominated the highest order with two for 21 before Chris Jordan took two for 16 before Vince, Davies and Marcus Stoinis were all the batters it took to finish the job with 31 balls left.

Vince came off the back of a brilliant Vitality Blast campaign with Hampshire – where he also led his county to their third title.

It was imperative not to pass up the opportunity to fire him early. Unfortunately, Ryan Higgins lost his chance and Vince dropped to the boundary with the fifth ball.

A few boundaries through midwicket and punt quickly cleared up the mistake, as Davies hit back-to-back fours to David Payne – the second a stunning straight drive.

Davies hit a short delivery from Higgins to fall with 36 runs needed in 51 balls, while Vince quickly cut through firmly to make his half-century in 31 deliveries.

He waited until he reached 55 before gobbling his first six before Brave quickly sank to victory to keep their perfect Ageas Bowl record – Vince improved his best of 60 in 2021.

Previously, Brave won the toss, decided to bowl and reduced the Fire top order to 31 for three in the 25-ball power play, after spectacular fireworks delayed proceedings.

Brave were without lightning-fast Jofra Archer, Tymal Mills and George Garton for various injuries and illness-related issues, but it mattered little thanks to their depth.

Overton had Joe Clarke stretching to miscue to cover for a four-baled duck and Tom Banton hiccuping to deep square leg, while 41-year-old Michael Hogan bowled Ollie Pope — who missed a reverse sweep.

Duckett and Sam Hain set the highest score of the innings at 25, but the wickets kept falling regularly.

Jake Lintott made his way to the attack, tickling Hain’s gauntlet with his second ball, while 17-year-old leg spinner Rehan Ahmed and James Fuller analyzed as he went down wicketless under a run-a-ball.

Fuller put the finishing touches on a chaotic run-out to see Josh Cobb perish and Quinton de Kock’s stand-in easily held Higgins on the square boundary.

Left-handed Duckett kept things together, though he survived a runout and dropped the catch, but dominated on the sweep when all of his five limits came behind the wicket.

He lobbed Jordan halfway through before seeing teenage Afghan Noor Ahmad jab the first and only six innings, though it would never be enough.

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