The Hundred: David Willey's hitting fires Northern Superchargers to win over sorry London Spirit

By Matthew HenryBBC Sport
The Hundred, Lord's
Northern Superchargers 155-3 (100 balls): Willey 81* (40), Brook 28 (24); Crane 1-19, Nabi 1-19
London Spirit 92-9 (100 balls): Morgan 27 (22); Raine 3-20, Willey 2-9
Superchargers win by 63 runs
Scorecard. Table.

David Willey's extraordinary hitting fired Northern Superchargers to a crushing 63-run win over London Spirit in the men's Hundred.

Willey smashed 81 not out from 45 balls - the highest score of the men's tournament so far - in a stunning display of six-hitting, including one huge hit that flew out of Lord's.

He propelled his side to 155-3 and then took two wickets in the first 10 balls of Spirit's reply in a remarkable individual display.

Harry Brook, who also hit a massive six into the top tier of the famous Lord's pavilion, pulled off a spectacular flying catch to dismiss Adam Rossington - Willey's first victim.

Spirit crumbled thereafter, ending on 92-9 on a woeful night for the side captained by England skipper Eoin Morgan.

It means Spirit remain without a win in the tournament with four defeats and a washout in five games.

Superchargers jump from seventh to third in the table.

'Up there with the biggest this ground has seen' - Willey's Lord's assault

In total England all-rounder Willey hit six sixes, drawing gasps from the crowd as ball flew off bat.

The most spectacular was his enormous pull shot over 19-year-old fast bowler Blake Cullen which cleared the Mound Stand at cricket's most famous ground.

"There is a lot of history at Lord's but this has to be up there with one of the biggest sixes this ground has ever seen," said former England batter Lydia Greenway. "That is unbelievable."

Here's how Willey, who had scored just six runs in three previous innings in the tournament, hit each of his sixes:

  • Ball 37: Not in total control, Willey swipes a Cullen bouncer from in front of his helmet and the ball goes into the first row of the stand.
  • Ball 53: This one is in the top tier! Willey crunches a slog-sweep off spinner Mohammad Nabi.
  • Ball 72: Willey's biggest six. "Wow what a hit!" shouts BBC commentator Henry Moeran as Willey pulls Cullen out of the ground.
  • Ball 91: Willey doesn't time the ball fully but his power sees a full ball, again bowled by Cullen, clear long-off.
  • Ball 98: Another clean, powerful hit as a Mohammad Amir full toss is dispatched 82m over the leg side.
  • Ball 99: Even bigger! Another full toss from Amir. Same result. Willey targets the leg side once again and heaps more misery on Amir.

What is going wrong for Morgan's spirit?

In terms of runs this was, by some way, the biggest margin of victory in The Hundred so far. Morgan top scored with 27 but his side, albeit chasing a big total, crumbled.

Spirit, coached by Shane Warne, are rock bottom of the table - the only men's side without a win.

Warne, who is currently isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, described their defeats to Southern Brave and Trent Rockets in their previous two games - games where they were strong favourites at certain points - as "embarrassing", adding "we've just gifted two wins away".

He will be no happier after this sorry defeat.

They have been hurt by the loss of their two premier batters, Zak Crawley and Dan Lawrence, to England Test duty and no other players are stepping up to replace them.

Morgan is struggling for form and other big names are not performing.

Former Pakistan paceman Amir's 20 balls against Superchargers cost 40 runs and in total he has conceded 132 from 77 balls with just three wickets.

Another of their other overseas players, Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi, averages nine with the bat from four innings.

"Every game we've played bar tonight it has gone right down to the wire, so we have had our chances," Morgan said.

"We've potentially given results to sides, rather than making them earn them."

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