So far, the Hundred’s only two close games have come at the Oval. Invincibles narrowly lost the first, a week ago, to London Spirit, but got over the line this time. Chasing 158, they crept home with three wickets and three balls to spare.
The Currans were at the heart of it, but stand-in skipper Jason Roy’s struggles continued with his second duck in three innings in the Hundred. Roy had been appointed Invincibles captain, the first time he had done the job at senior level, with Sam Billings playing for the Lions, but the extra responsibility did not help as he picked out mid-on second ball. After a tough white-ball summer with England, he has 10 runs from 13 balls in three innings in the Hundred.
Fortunately, Sam Curran and Sunil Narine had been in inspired form with the balls, then the brothers had combined with the bat.
Superchargers’ Adam Lyth was in the sweetest touch as he racked up the men’s Hundred’s fastest fifty, from 17 balls, depositing Reece Topley for four successive sixes. Lyth ended up with eight sixes in 33-ball 77, but was one of five wickets to fall in the final 30 balls, which prevented Superchargers putting the game to bed by the halfway mark.
Narine did much of the damage, finding 12 dots in his 20 balls, which cost just 11 runs. He also picked up three wickets, including Adam Hose and the dangerous David Wiese shortly after Lyth was dismissed.
Curran put in a vital showing, too; he had picked up Faf du Plessis early on, then was tight at the death.
Superchargers had to settle for 157; a score little more than solid on a flat pitch with one particularly short boundary. When Lyth was planting balls into the stands, it felt like not only he could he make the tournament’s second individual century, but a team 200 was on the cards for the first time this season.
With Roy falling early, Invincibles were soon 21 for three, with Narine and Rilee Rossouw back in the hutch. But a patient rebuild from Jordan Cox and Sam Curran put them in a position to launch at the death.
That they did, with Curran hitting five sixes in his 39-ball 60. He had been horribly dropped by Lyth at long-off on 46, but reached his half-century next balls.
Curran was bowled by Dwayne Bravo, then Roloef van der Merwe’s second brilliant catch saw Jack Haynes go for two. But Tom Curran’s calm head saw him smash two sixes, in his seven-ball 18, which included the winning runs. Fittingly, he got there thanks too a dropped catch, with du Plessis putting down a diving effort at mid-on.