All-rounder Daniel Sams contributed to the Trent Rockets’ nail-biting two-wicket win in the final of the Men’s Hundred. (Photo: @TrentBridge/Twitter)

Following a month of entertainment, the Men’s Hundred reached its finale this weekend, with multiple Australians vying to help their respective sides claim silverware.

The Inner Sanctum takes a look at how each of the four Aussies in action fared across the knockout stages of the tournament. 

The Eliminator – Manchester Originals vs. London Spirit

The Manchester Originals entered this do-or-die clash on a five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the London Spirit had lost their previous two encounters. Regardless of form, there was plenty to play for with a spot in the Men’s Hundred final on the line. 

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the London Spirit got off to the worst possible start, losing opening batter Adam Rossington for a duck off the second ball of the innings.

However, Rossington’s departure brought the in-form Ben McDermott to the crease, joining English international Zak Crawley. McDermott quickly found his groove, hitting a six over square leg followed by a punch through the covers for a boundary to close out the opening over.

Both McDermott and Crawley (36 runs) continued to build momentum, forging a 69-run partnership to establish a strong platform for the Spirit. McDermott went on to amass 59 runs off 38 deliveries, an innings which included eight fours and one six. The 27-year-old’s knock proved to be the top-score for his side.

A late cameo from Ravi Bopara (34* runs off 16 balls) lifted the Spirit to a total of 7-150 off their allotted 100 balls. Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson was the pick of the bowlers for the Originals, collecting 2-17 off his 20 deliveries. 

The Originals’ dynamic opening batting duo of Phil Salt (29 runs off 18 balls) and Laurie Evans (72 runs off 34 balls) set out to make light work of the run chase, combining for a devasting 101-run partnership off just 45 deliveries. 

This ultimately proved to be the difference in the match. However, right-arm seamer Nathan Ellis performed valiantly with the ball for the Spirit, producing figures of 2-32 off 19 deliveries.

This included the dismissals of Paul Walter and Wayne Madsen, the first of which arose thanks to a sharp catch from skipper Eoin Morgan. 

West Australian Ashton Turner arrived at the crease with the Originals only needing 26 runs for victory. Turner guided his team to the required target, hitting an unbeaten nine runs off five deliveries to send the Manchester Originals to the final. 

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Final – Trent Rockets v Manchester Originals

Just as they did in the eliminator, the Manchester Originals once again opted to bat first after winning the toss.

In what proved to be a low-scoring affair at Lords, batters found the going tough throughout the entirety of the final. The Originals lost wickets at regular intervals, finding themselves in trouble at 5-57 off 47 deliveries. 

Daniel Sams played his part with the ball for the Rockets, picking up the massive wicket of Phil Salt for 11 off just his third delivery of the match. Sams ultimately finished with figures of 1-20 off 15 deliveries. 

Middle-order contributions from Ashton Turner and Tom Lammonby helped the Originals establish a total north of 100, with the side posting 9-120 off its allotted 100 balls. 

Turner amassed 26 runs off 13 balls, hitting three fours and one six in the process. The 29-year-old’s innings was the highest individual score for the match, a reflection of the dominance of the ball over bat.

Sam Cook was the pick of the bowlers for the Rockets, collecting figures of 4-18 off his 20 deliveries.

Chasing 121 for victory, the Rockets struggled to generate significant momentum during the run chase. Prolific T20 batter Alex Hales was dismissed cheaply for eight, whilst Tom Cohler-Cadmore (18 runs) and Dawid Malan (19 runs) departed the crease in the space of seven deliveries.

With the score sitting at 5-85 off 74 balls, Sams arrived at the crease with the Rockets still needing another 36 runs for victory. The 29-year-old all-rounder hit a boundary during the 16th over, followed by a six over deep mid-wicket three balls later, and loomed large to guide the Rockets to the Hundred title.

However, after launching only the second six of his side’s innings, Sams (13 runs off eight deliveries) was undone the very next ball, holding out to long-on as the game remained well and truly in the balance. 

A dramatic conclusion ensued, with the Rockets requiring 11 runs off the final five deliveries to clinch the title. Skipper Lewis Gregory rose to the occasion, hitting a six and four in succession off the very first two deliveries of Richard Gleeson’s over to seal a thrilling two-wicket win for his side. 

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