The Hundred: Paul Stirling and George Garton show class as Southern Brave secure vital victory over Welsh Fire

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Paul Stirling reached a half-century off just 26 balls as he put Welsh Fire’s bowlers to the sword; George Garton had a phenomenal performance with the ball for the visitors as he took three wickets for just seven runs; The loss for Welsh Fire means they will not qualify for the eliminator

Last Updated: 22/08/22 11:04pm

George Garton put in an incredible performance with the ball as Southern Brave took control early

Paul Stirling hit an electric 74 off 42 balls and George Garton took three wickets for just seven runs as Southern Brave secured a crucial victory against Welsh Fire.

Welsh Fire 129-8 off 100 balls:

Clarke (17 off 20 balls), Miller (15 off 18 balls), Du Plooy (37 off 25 balls), Critchley (32 off 19 balls not out), Pretorius (15 off 7 balls); Garton (7-3 off 15 balls), Fuller (21-1 off 15 balls)

Southern Brave 132-1 off 82 balls:

Stirling (74 off 42 balls), De Kock (37 off 36 balls), David () ; Scrimshaw (0-32 from 10 balls), Pretorius (1-20 from 20 balls)

Story of the match

Stirling, who was called into the side for the first time this summer to replace Marcus Stoinis, took up where he left off in last season’s Hundred by joining Quinton de Kock in a first-wicket run fest.

He notched the highest individual score for the Brave and joined De Kock in a tournament-high partnership of 121 for the first wicket – just three short of The Hundred record for any wicket.

Paul Stirling got off to an incredible start for the visitors, finding an early 30 runs off 16 balls

The home side were seeking their first win of the campaign after four straight defeats and also had revenge in mind having been beaten by nine wickets by the reigning champions in their opening game.

But Garton dismissed three Fire batters in his opening 10 balls, leaving the home side stunned at one for three and they could only post 129-8 .

Despite a 20-minute break for rain when they batted, the Braves did not hang around in their chase as they condemned the Fire to a fifth successive defeat.

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Southern Brave’s George Garton took three wickets with some brilliant pace bowling, leaving Welsh Fire 1-3

Southern Brave’s George Garton took three wickets with some brilliant pace bowling, leaving Welsh Fire 1-3

Stirling started at breakneck speed with two boundaries off David Payne and the Brave were 18 off 10 balls when the teams went off for the rain break.

He then punished George Scrimshaw with four successive fours when the game resumed and the visitors had 40 on the board from the powerplay and brought up their 50 off 63 balls.

Stirling then hit Payne for successive sixes to reach his half-century.

The only blot for the visitors was the loss of De Kock for 37 with nine runs left to win. They were added within four more balls to see the Brave home with 18 balls to spare.

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James Vince won the toss and had no hesitation in inserting the Fire on a greasy wicket and with a heavy cloud covering overhead.

Garton opened the bowling and produced a fine 10-ball spell, sending back three batters for only one run.

First to go was James Bethell, caught at the wicket off the second ball for a golden duck. James Cobb also went for a duck and then Ben Duckett fell to a diving catch behind the wicket by De Kock.

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Ross Whiteley took an incredible diving catch to dismiss Dwaine Pretorius, leaving Welsh Fire 99-7

Ross Whiteley took an incredible diving catch to dismiss Dwaine Pretorius, leaving Welsh Fire 99-7

Joe Clarke and David Miller dug in and Miller had the honour of striking the first boundary off the 19th ball.

Miller was the fourth man out when he was clean bowled by James Fuller for 15 and Clarke followed after a calamitous run-out with Leus du Plooy for 17.

Du Plooy hit three boundaries in his 37 and fellow South African Dwaine Pretorius chipped in with 15 off seven balls.

He struck a six to take his side past the lowest total in the tournament, 87, and then hit a four to take his side past their own previous lowest total, 91.

Matt Critchley made hay off the last set of five from Michael Hogan, launching the last two balls for sixes to take his total to 32, but it was not enough to end the Fire’s losing run.

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Hero of the game, George Garton (7-3 from 15 balls)

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George Garton starred, taking 3-7 as Southern Brave ran out comfortable winners against Welsh Fire

George Garton starred, taking 3-7 as Southern Brave ran out comfortable winners against Welsh Fire

Garton said: “It is not normal in the white-ball game to have such good bowling conditions so we had to make the most of it and I think we did.

“I am not 100 per cent because long COVID got me a bit again today but happy that I could swing some up top.

“I actually felt like my pace was a bit down today so I went for a bit more accuracy and a bit more swing.

“We love Stirlo (Paul Stirling) both on and off the pitch and he showed tonight again how good he is.

“You have just got to go out there, have fun and win the games.”

What’s next?

Tuesday sees Oval Invincibles back in action at the Kia Oval as they welcome Birmingham Phoenix with the women’s fixture getting under way at 3pm before the men’s match at 6.30pm.

Invincibles vs Phoenix

August 23, 2022, 2:30pm

Live on

Invincibles vs Phoenix

August 23, 2022, 6:00pm

Live on

Welsh Fire are next in action on Wednesday as they travel to face London Spirit (women’s match at 3pm followed by the men at 6.30pm).

For Southern Brave, a home fixture awaits on Thursday as they face Trent Rockets. The women’s match will get under way at 3.30pm followed by the men’s match at 7pm.

Watch every match from The Hundred this summer live on Sky Sports.

Tickets for The Hundred are selling fast! If you want to be part of the action, go to thehundred.com/tickets

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