Ravi Bopara went from villain to hero as London Spirit beat Northern Superchargers by 13 runs at Lord’s to keep alive their hopes of a place in the knockout stages.
The veteran all-rounder dropped a sitter of a catch early in the Superchargers’ chase for 161 but atoned and then some by taking 4-21, including the prize wicket of Harry Brook for 44 from 24 balls – the youngster having played like a man scorned following his omission from England’s World Cup squad earlier this week.
Earlier Adam Rossington made his second 50 of the week (53 from 30), sharing a stand of 66 in 32 balls for the third wicket with Matthew Wade (42) as the home side posted 160-6. Adil Rashid took 2-18 and Reece Topley 2-20 for the visitors.
Zak Crawley struck three fours before becoming Topley’s 11th victim of the tournament, caught by David Wiese. The England man stood his ground but a check by the third umpire sent him on his way.
Dan Lawrence did not stay long, bowled by Rashid attempting a switch hit, but Rossington picked up where he had left off against the Oval Invincibles on Tuesday and unleashed a flurry of boundaries – including a six into the Mound Stand off Wiese.
The Essex wicketkeeper followed up with successive sixes off South African Wayne Parnell, the first a towering blow into the pavilion seats, as his 50 came up in 25 balls. Rossington’s pyrotechnics inspired Wade, who sent one from Matthew Potts over the ropes in taking 20 from one set.
Rossington, though, lost the strike and with it his rhythm and soon mishit Rashid into the hands of midwicket. Wade followed when Parnell trapped him in front and with that Spirit lost momentum, only a late six from Daryl Mitchell (34 from 19) taking them to 160.
Amid darkening skies Lyth began by belting one from Dan Worrall into the stands but he should have been out for eight when skying Jordan Thompson to Bopara at short third, only for the Sussex man to spill the regulation chance. Matthew Short sent the next ball into the crowd and Lyth then celebrated his reprieve with a second six off Worrall.
Spirit’s ragged fielding gave Lyth a second life on 25, Nathan Ellis the culprit, but his luck ran out when he sent one from Liam Dawson into the hands of Thompson.
Bopara bowled a stunning opening set, first having Short caught in the deep before castling Tom Banton. Unsurprisingly the all-rounder was kept on for another five and promptly had Saif Zaib caught at short fine.
All eyes were now on Brook, who lofted one from Bopara into the crowd before crashing Thompson for three fours. Critchley was treated with equal disdain but Bopara returned to dismiss Brook, caught right on the rope by Mitchell.
Hose continued to swing valiantly but when he fell to Ellis’s stunning diving catch, 24 from the final six proved too many.
The Hundred continues on Saturday, with a quadruple-header of live action on Sky Sports. Trent Rockets Women face rock-bottom Birmingham Phoenix (11am), still searching for a first win of the campaign, where only a victory will keep their slim qualification hopes alive.
League leaders Southern Brave then face the Oval Invincibles (2.30pm), who will also be eliminated if they fail to win, with both matches live on Sky Sports Mix or via a free stream on Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
Trent Rockets Men host Birmingham Phoenix (2.30pm), where only a win for either side will give them a chance of progressing, before Southern Brave travel to league leaders Oval Invincibles (6pm). Watch both matches live on Sky Sports Cricket, with the later game also live on Sky Sports Mix.