Billings had words of praises for Narine, who dismissed Jos Buttler and gave away only 22 runs off 20 balls at 1.10.

Sam Billings of Oval Invincibles
Sam Billings of Oval Invincibles. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals played the opening game of The Hundred 2021 Men’s edition on Thursday, July 22. The game at the Kennington Oval in London went right down to the wire and in the end, the Invincibles, led by Sam Billings, won by nine runs to open their account in the event.

Billings hold the Invincibles together

After being put in to bat first, the Invincibles made a poor start as Sam Curran and Sunil Narine perished early. Will Jacks promised with a four and six apiece before Matthew Parkinson dismissed him. Jason Roy started with four scorching fours to score a 12-ball 20, but Tom Hartley cut short his knock.

Colin Ingram scored 17 but played at only a run-a-ball. Laurie Evans batted at seven and perished for a duck. Billings, meanwhile, held the innings together with a 30-ball 49 with four fours and two sixes. His knock carried the Invincibles to 145. Tom Curran also chipped in with a handy 18-ball 29.

Originals struggle

The Originals lost the early wickets of Phillip Salt and Jos Buttler to Sam Curran and Narine respectively. Joe Clarke and Colin Munro got starts but failed to convert. Tom Lammonby wasn’t able to make an impact as well. The team was reduced to 69/5 with 76 runs needed off the last 44 balls.

Thereafter, Carlos Brathwaite and Calvin Harrison put on a 53-run stand, but their efforts went in vain. Brathwaite scored 37 even as Harrison ended with 23. For the Invincibles, Nathan Sowter and Sam Curran picked two wickets each. Narine, Reece Topley and Tom Curran got one wicket each.

Sunil Narine is a phenomenal man: Sam Billings

After the defeat, Originals’ skipper Buttler talked about the challenges they had while going into the contest. Billings, on the other hand, was over the moon. He also had words of praises for Narine, who dismissed Buttler and gave away only 22 runs off 20 balls at 1.10.

“We had some injuries to deal with before putting up our XI. It certainly felt quicker. You have to make quick decisions as a captain with the change of bowlers. Great to see a lot of young guys in the stands,” Buttler said.

“It was a bit slow and we saw a bit of spin at the end. It is all about adapting and thankfully we got enough tonight. 150-160 is par, but today on that kind of a pitch I thought we were close. Narine is a phenomenal man. He has done it all over the world and for a batsman coming in, it is really difficult,” Billings said.

Here’s how the netizens reacted to Oval Invincibles’ win:


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