The Hundred: Lauren Filer, Tara Norris turn tide for London Spirit

Tara Norris and Lauren Filer added an unbeaten 31 runs for the tenth wicket for London Spirit making it the highest last wicket partnership in The Hundred

Shivangi Sinha
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Tara Norris

Tara Norris in action © Getty Images

London Spirit secured their first win of the season in The Hundred against defending champions Oval Invincibles at The Oval on Tuesday (August 15). Lauren Filer and Tara Norris played a crucial role in the tenth wicket partnership, scoring an unbeaten 31 off 22, while Norris also took two key scalps to help Spirit defend their score of 118.

“To get to that total, Lauren Filer at the end, (it was) brilliant from her, there's a lot of fight in this group and there's a lot of hustle to compete and try and win,” said Captain Heather Knight to Sky Sports after the match. "I think we only took one (wicket) quite early but I think the way we contained that power play was awesome, Danni Gibson set the tone for us and then Tara (Tara Norris) came in and she kept it quite simple, she bowls real good change-ups."

The home side won the toss and chose to bowl first and Marizanne Kapp immediately made a mark with a wicket-maiden first set. Danielle Gibson helplessly stood at one end and witnessed continuous fall of wickets, she scored an impactful 22 off 14 before getting out to Sophia Smale.

Kapp, Smale, Mady Villiers, and Ryana MacDonald-Gay worked together to suffocate the Spirit batting line-up, leaving them hanging at 87 for 9. However, Filer and Norris stepped up to stitch a match-saving partnership. They started safely, scoring nine runs off the next 11 deliveries.

Spirit finally reached the three-figure mark on the 90th ball with an outside edge off Norris’ bat that flew through third for a four ending the 24-ball boundary drought.

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Capsey bowled the final two sets and the pair accumulated 18 runs off the last ten balls. Filer scored an unbeaten 21 off just 13 deliveries, including a maximum and a four in the last three balls.

Filer smoked the 98th ball-full toss towards long-on for the first maximum of the match. The Western Storm player carved the penultimate ball over mid-off for a four and courtesy of the late blitz, the Spirit innings ended at 118.

"Filer put up a great shift at the end, hitting a few boundaries so yeah we had that momentum in and our bowlers were just clinical with the ball, our spinners in particular. I tried to (support Filer), she was having a great time and so I was trying to get her on strike and just run hard and get us to somewhat of a defendable score," said Norris.

The two-time champions started the chase at a snail pace and could manage only five runs off the first three sets and Norris was introduced to bowl the fourth. The Pennsylvania-born speedster immediately made a mark as she got the wicket of Lauren Winfield-Hill, the second-best Invincibles batter. Winfield-Hill came down the wicket but could not generate enough power and Amelia Kerr clung on to eat at cow corner.

"We looked at the pitch and I think pace off was pretty effective and anything to the stumps looked quite difficult to get away so for me personally was to keep the stumps in play and try and ball the cutters and be too predictable," added the Thunder bowler.

Skipper Suzie Bates and Kapp tried to stabilize the innings with a 39-run partnership from 40 balls but once Bates’ laborious innings ended, Invincibles fell like pack of cards. They lost seven wickets for just 33 runs at the backend of the innings.

Norris played an important part in the victory - nabbing two batters and playing a key role in the tenth wicket partnership - and was named the player of the match.

"It's nice to be on the winning side. We are doing a little bit unlucky with the weather and yeah had a couple of close games so it's nice to get over the line," Torris concluded.