In a contest that “fuses blockbuster leisure with world-class cricket, inviting everybody to fall in love with the sport at its intense, electrifying and unbelievable greatest” (with because of the official ECB press launch), the Tremendous-dupers skilled a combined opening day.
As their resident DJ Emily Pilbeam pumped out tunes from a big black stage in a nook of the West Stand, and because the ghosts of Lord Hawke, Wilfred Rhodes, Hedley Verity, Arthur ‘Ticker’ Mitchell, Brian Sellers and Fred Trueman tapped their ft within the Elysian Fields, the Superliners ladies received their recreation by six wickets because of an unbeaten 92 by India’s Jemimah Rodrigues as they chased 131 with 15 balls left, earlier than the lads went down by 5 runs in pursuit of 174, ending on 168-7 regardless of 62 from Yorkshire’s Harry Brook.
All of it amounted to “unbelievable leisure past sport” (once more, with because of the official ECB press launch) as The Hundred took us to locations hitherto accessed solely through such autos as Mozart, Shakespeare and the Hubble Telescope.
The thrills started as they do on this event with the toss on stage as an alternative of on the pitch. The coin was thus reworked into cricket’s reply to Freddie Mercury as we watched transfixed to find whether or not it could land on the facet of heads or tails.
The toss was received by the Superbugs each occasions, Lauren Winfield-Hill and Ben Stokes – the latter deputising as captain for Faf du Plessis, who’s lacking the primary three matches as a result of concussion sustained on the Pakistan Tremendous League – each selecting to bowl.
After the breathless drama of the coin toss, it turned out that the transcendent thrills had, like The Carpenters, solely simply begun.
There was a ‘second of unity’ between the groups on the outfield earlier than we acquired below means – or reasonably two moments of unity as this was a double-header, and what Yorkshire people might resist two for t’value of 1?
On a pleasant afternoon (probably even for staying at residence), the gamers emerged from a small tunnel in entrance of the North-East Stand earlier than a countdown clock on the digital scoreboard signalled the beginning of the “blockbuster leisure”.
This was a sensational improvement – a brand new viewers mentioned to be too thick to understand something as difficult as ‘overs’ might seemingly not solely depend but additionally depend backwards from 10 to at least one. Exceptional.
One had barely recovered from the shock of this information when, amid pleasure that Columbus should have felt on discovering the ‘New World’, Linsey Smith bumped into bowl the opening supply from the Kirkstall Lane finish to namesake Bryony Smith.
It was pushed out into the covers for a single and the Welsh Fireflies had been up and working –time to crack open one other bottle of weedkiller and to strap in tight for the white-knuckle experience.
On the midway stage it was 79-3 from 50 balls, the strokeplay of West Indian overses participant Hayley Matthews, who top-scored with 30 from 20, having been the spotlight, together with the Pilbeam-directed sound system which, in equity, was good and clear – in distinction to the cloudy skies.
However the Supernovas dragged it again nicely, taking 51-5 within the second half because the Welsh Firebreaks closed on 130-8 from their 100 balls, Smith capturing 3-14, Katie Levick 2-13 and Alice Davidson-Richards 2-30.
Earlier than a crowd of 5,026, together with a good variety of households to guage by means of the binoculars, the Northern Supersleuths had been quickly in hassle as they slipped to 19-4 off 18 balls.
However Rodriguez performed fantastically, displaying terrific aptitude and timing, particularly by means of the offside, throughout a 43-ball innings that included 17 fours and a six.
The 20-year-old, previously of Northern Diamonds, was nicely supported by Davidson-Richards, who scored 23 from 28 balls, the pair sharing an unbroken 112 from 68 deliveries.
The gang had climbed to 10,324 for the lads’s match, which began at 6pm and extra carefully resembled a T20 vibe.
Welsh Fireworks got a flying begin by their captain, Jonny Bairstow, who raced to fifty from 28 balls, together with a pulled six off Brydon Carse into the West Stand that was dropped by a person dressed as a penguin – until it was a penguin.
One might simply think about the tv commentators, perched in a pod in entrance of the pavilion, going into their standard paroxysms of ecstasy, maybe assisted by mind-changing substances.
Bairstow holed out on the mid-wicket boundary off Stokes for 56, however 41 from Ben Duckett and an unbeaten 30 by Jimmy Neesham noticed Welsh Firewardens to a aggressive 173-4.
Northern Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious wanted a quick begin, and so they got one by Adam Lyth, who struck 25 from 14.
There was the necessary T20-style interruption when a male streaker ran throughout the outfield, evading seize by a number of stewards earlier than surrendering in entrance of Pilbeam’s stage.
None of which discombobulated the Superbeams, Brook elevating his fifty from 21 balls and hitting 5 sixes and three fours in complete. He fell lbw to Qais Ahmad, the 20-year-old Afghan leg-spinner, whose 4-13 proved decisive.