Southern Brave cling on to Hundred hopes after beating Trent Rockets

Southern Brave's slim hopes of defending their Hundred title are still alive after an unbeaten 51 from Alex Davies helped them to a six wicket win over second-placed Trent Rockets.

Brave looked down and out when needing 75 from 36 balls, but Davies hit an unbeaten 51 and Ross Whiteley added 30 to dent the Rockets' chances of going straight through to the final.

Dawid Malan had earlier top-scored with 59 for the Rockets, as the visitors finished on a below-par 138 for six.

Brave have now won three games but must hope other results go their way to have any chance of making next Friday's Eliminator on home soil.

Brave were under pressure straight away in their run chase as Sam Cook bowled Paul Stirling without scoring before captain James Vince went first ball to a fired-up Luke Wood.

Their top-order batters, who had looked so confident against Welsh Fire on Monday, ended the powerplay on a paltry 15 for two.

Even Tabraiz Shamsi's straightforward drop off Quinton de Kock did little to shift the momentum as the required rate spiralled.

De Kock briefly got the run-chase back on track with a much-needed maximum followed by a vicious pull for four.

But he was gone soon after, tamely miscuing Rockets captain Lewis Gregory to mid-on.

Davies steadied the innings with new partner Whiteley to keep Brave's hopes alive before accelerating, helped by indiscipline from the Rockets' bowlers.

A combination of big hitting, wides and no-balls suddenly made the Brave favourites, only for Whiteley to fall with 16 still required.

But Tim David found form at the perfect time, clubbing two sixes to see his side home.

Earlier, Malan and Alex Hales looked untroubled in the first two sets of pace from 41-year old Michael Hogan and his 19-year-old opening partner Sonny Baker, but that all changed when spinner Stirling came into the attack.

After miscuing the Ireland star's first ball over backward point, Hales slapped his second delivery straight to cover to give Stirling his first-ever wicket in The Hundred.

Stirling bowled 10 balls unchanged, conceding just six runs, as the Rockets finished the 25-ball powerplay on an underwhelming 27 for one.

Spin continued to do the trick for Brave as Jake Lintott had Tom Kohler-Cadmore brilliantly caught at long-off by James Fuller.

Only Malan seemed comfortable in the first half of the innings, but partner Samit Patel soon got into his stride, launching Lintott for consecutive sixes before Baker was denied a maiden Hundred wicket as Hogan dropped Malan on 37.

The tournament's leading run scorer shrugged off that moment of danger to reach his half-century from 38 balls, shortly after Fuller had produced the perfect yorker to bowl Patel for 21.

Hogan then made amends by bowling Malan just as the England batter looked set to cut loose.

The innings stalled before Lintott's final set went for 18, the highlight being an audacious reverse sweep for six from New Zealand batter Colin Munro.

Munro holed out off Fuller in the penultimate set before Hogan dismissed Gregory as the Rockets closed on 138 for six, a seemingly under-par total which ultimately proved just within Brave's reach.

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