The Hundred: Southern Brave give Anya Shrubsole fairy tale finish

Anya Shrubsole capped off an illustrious career in style as Southern Brave - coached by Charlotte Edwards - won the title in the third edition of The Hundred

Shivangi Sinha
New Update
Southern Brave

Southern Brave lifting the trophy © Getty Images

The final match in the illustrious career of Anya Shrubsole was a glorious affair as Southern Brave emerged victorious by securing their first-ever title in their third consecutive attempt in The Hundred on Sunday (August 27). The summit clash saw Brave take on Northern Superchargers, who were making their debut appearance in the finals, at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground in front of a record crowd of 21,636 for women’s domestic cricket in England.

It was no less than a fairy tale ending as Shrubsole’s side clinched the elusive trophy on the same ground where she registered her career-best figures of 6 for 46 against India in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2017. It is worth mentioning that Shrubsole had also won the title with Southern Vipers in the recently concluded Charlotte Edwards Cup (CE Cup).

“Whole range of emotions to be honest. Just relieved to get over the line. So proud of the girls. To finally be able to stand up there is a great feeling. We've played some brilliant cricket. Won some 20 out of 25 games coming into this. Had quite a different group actually because of the draft. That's what makes me proud. For this squad to turn it around and perform as well as we have is unbelievable,” Shrubsole said after Brave clinched the trophy.

Brave, who had a smooth run into the final, chose a rollercoaster ride in the summit clash. The phrase 'It's not how you start but how you finish’ aptly fits their situation. They had a shaky start, losing two of their top three batters with just nine runs on the board.

However, Danielle Wyatt and Georgia Adams came together to form a match-defining partnership of 87 runs off 63 balls. With the score reading just 12 for 2 after the end of the third set, Wyatt's sweetly driven boundary through the point region on the 16th ball marked the turning point as Brave managed to get some flow into the innings.

In the 13th set, Wyatt brought up her half-century by sweeping the ball behind square. She fell to an unfortunate run out at the non-striker's end from Kate Cross, after scoring a well-compiled 59 off 38 deliveries. Freya Kemp finished off the innings with a well-made 31 off 17 balls as Brave posted a solid 139 on the board.

Historically, the pitch at Lord's favours pacers and Lauren Bell made full use of the surface as she splattered Marie Kelly's stumps with her second ball. Bell was instrumental in providing the much-needed early breakthroughs, accounting for the wickets of the best batter from Superchargers, Phoebe Litchfield. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and the Yorkshire based side was reduced to 59 for 4 in no time.

Shrubsole showcased her skills with a slower leg-cutter that trapped Alice Davidson-Richards and that eventually became the swing bowler’s final victim in her professional career.

When Grace Ballinger became the final wicket to fall, Southern Brave finally had the podium finish that eluded them in the first two editions of The Hundred.

Wyatt, who scored a match-winning innings, was named the player of the match and was ecstatic about the sendoff that Shrubsole received.

“What a sendoff for Anya, couldn't get better than that. When I was batting, I just wanted to stay in there and knew runs would come. Bowlers delivered again and our field was outstanding. The icing on the cake - Anya's been amazing over the last 20 years (laughs). Lots of green here, the Southern Brave fans. Long may it continue,” said Wyatt after the match.

Coached by Charlotte Edwards, Southern Brave has been the dominant force across the three seasons of The Hundred. Edwards has demonstrated her coaching heroics not just in The Hundred but also in different tournaments around the globe. She has guided her teams to the final in all five previous competitions, this includes three successive titles in 2023, with Mumbai Indians, Southern Vipers, and Southern Brave and two runners-up journeys in 2022 with Sydney Sixers and Southern Vipers.