Harry Brook tried valiantly, having scored a 31-ball 62, but his efforts weren’t enough for the Superchargers to win.
The Welsh Fire and Northern Superchargers started their campaign in the Men’s Hundred with a close encounter at the Headingley in Leeds. In the end, it was the Jonny Bairstow-led Fire, who won by five runs courtesy of Qais Ahmed, who picked up a five-wicket haul in the second innings.
Bairstow top scores for the Fire
After being inserted in, the Fire hammered their way to 173. Tom Banton perished early, but Bairstow and Ben Duckett stitched together a 50-run stand to set the tone for the innings. Bairstow went on to score a 36-ball 56 with five fours and three sixes before pacer David Willey got of him.
Duckett scored a 27-ball 41 with six fours. Thereafter, cameos from Glenn Phillips, James Neesham and Ian Cockbain made sure that their team got the daunting score on the board. For the Superchargers, Stokes was the most frugal as he conceded only eight runs and picked up a wicket.
Brook’s knock goes in vain
The run-chase turned out to be a battle between Harry Brook and Qais Ahmed. Brook looked at his very best as he hammered 62 off 31 with three fours and five sixes. But with his team needed 36 off 17, Ahmed trapped him plumb in front. The dismissal turned out to be crucial in the context of the game.
Ahmed was unplayable as the Superchargers’ batters managed only 13 runs off his 20 balls. The tweaker also picked up four wickets. In the death, Matthew Potts scored a quickfire 10-ball 20, but his efforts went in vain. For the Fire, Liam Plunkett and David Payne conceded two runs per ball.
The pitch was good for spinners: Qais Ahmed
Stokes, the Superchargers’ skipper, was dejected but he lauded Brook for his stupendous knock. Ahmed, the winner of the POTM award, said that he enjoyed bowling on the helpful surface at Headingley.
“First game of the competition, to get to where we were at the end, massive credit has to go to Brooksy. That comes from the short time we have been together as a team. I, Lynny and Lythy didn’t really help at the start of the innings but that gives responsibility to Brooksy to go out and play that way and that’s what we want the guys to do,” Stokes said.
“Yeah, I enjoyed it. The pitch was good for spinners, but it wasn’t turning a lot, my coach said that I was the main bowler and asked me to do well. Good crowd and they supported both the teams equally well,” Brook was quoted as saying.
Here’s how the netizens reacted to Welsh Fire’s victory:
Fire (Men) : 173/4 (100 balls)
Supercharger (Men) : 168/7 (100 balls)
Fire won by 5 runs
Player of the match : Qais Ahmad (Welsh Fire)#TheHundred 🏏 pic.twitter.com/YhisO1tZwh
— Ishara Isuru 🏏⚽️🏉 (@Ishisuru1) July 25, 2021
20 balls in an innings for fewer than 20 runs in #TheHundred
Adam Milne 1
Qais Ahmad 1
— Michael Wagener (@Mykuhl) July 24, 2021
Qais Ahmad is a special cricketer. What a spell in that game! #TheHundred
— DOSANJH (@gsxnghh) July 24, 2021
This is now an official Qais Ahmad fan account #TheHundred #WelshFire
— Now Titled JP 🇪🇺🏳️🌈♊ (@james_de_Vere) July 24, 2021
Yet another entertaining Hundred game! What a great final over from Jake Ball and what a spell by Qais Ahmad👏#TheHundred
— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) July 24, 2021
A star is born #qaisahmad and Harry Brooks will be playing for England before too long. Great match #thehundred https://t.co/L8LPDhBlUS
— Ronnie (@Ronniemarkets) July 24, 2021
I’ve taken some time off thinking about how Afghanistan should just say fuck it and field 5 spinners in the World T20 but now Qais Ahmad is ripping it up and I’m dreaming again.
— Ed Farrar (@Farrardise) July 24, 2021
@thehundred that was superb @jbairstow21 👏🏼
Qais Ahmad ❤️
Congratulations Welsh Fire! pic.twitter.com/yxcr6M5bAE
— Chris Owens (@chrisowens100) July 24, 2021
Take a bow Qais Ahmad and Harry Brook. Despite the garish graphics the hundred is a brilliant new format. Exciting and dramatic cricket #TheHundred
— ᴛʜᴇ ᴀᴅᴇʟɪᴛᴇꜱ 🦁🦁🦁 (@theadelites) July 24, 2021
@imqaisahmadd Brilliant bowling from Qais Ahmad has kept the Super Chargers out of the game. Brilliant figures of 4/13 in his 20 balls.
— Shriyan Naidoo Sharma (@ShriyanNaidoo) July 24, 2021