london spirit 171 for 6 (Morgan 47) beat Oval Invincible 168 for 7 (Cartwright 42, Ellis 3-28) by four wickets
Aussie pacers Ellis and Thompson ruined the unbeatable top order with 12 runs for 4 wickets. Hilton Cartwright and Jordan Cox revived the home team with a stand of 74 before Danny Briggs (29 off 11 balls) almost had the most unexpected win, but Thompson kept his cool amid a breathless end.
Jack Crawley, essentially in the limelight after his poor summer with England, boosted the spirit in the powerplay with four fours, including a consecutive sweep to Briggs. Fellow opener Adam Rossington caught the mood briefly as he hoisted Mohammad Hasnain for two big sixes, then the same bowler deepened in the third attempt.
Glenn Maxwell failed to shine, chewing 15 balls for 18, and the slow spirit with Morgan at the halfway point scored 74 for 3.
A full-blooded pull shot for six and an audacious dunk on keeper Sam Billings from the middle of the bat freed Morgan’s shackles and he and Dan Lawrence tucked into a set of five to the tune of 23 runs from Hasnain. The pair added 72 runs from 39 balls before Narine (2-25) checked the visitors’ progress to bowl Lawrence again.
Morgan’s fine 29-ball effort ended three short half-centuries as he dismissed England’s quick Reece Topley, but a late six from Kieron Pollard took the spirit to 171.
Invincible initiates Nightmare in response. Jason Roy’s horror story The white-ball heat continued when Ellis caught him for a golden duck on the first ball of the innings, before Thompson struck twice in the third set of five, Sam Curran in the hands of Maxwell and the dreaded Will made mistake. Jack is vying for a catch in the deep.
And when Ellis returned to remove Captain Billings, who was given out catches after a review by the third umpire, the hosts were in complete disarray.
Only 20 runs came from the powerplay and the rate continued to climb when Jordan Cox and Australian Hilton Cartwright stopped the bleeding. But Pollard gave Cox life on 21 when he dropped a regulation catch to deny Thompson a third wicket, and when Cartwright hit a short 103 meters from Chris Wood, home hopes. Shine once again.
The Australian all-rounder hit one over the ropes to legspinner Mason Crane in the next set, but the next ball went into the hands of wicketkeeper Rossington.
Cox and Tom Curran continued their search for an unlikely win, but Ellis returned to bowl the former and lost reason when Curran was dismissed in the deep. However, Briggs refused to give up the chase and made the target 17 in the final set. The spinner hit successive fours off Thompson, but Narine was unable to hit a six off the final ball as Spirit scrambled home.