Manchester Originals wreaked havoc at Headingley on Sunday evening as they hammered a record score in The Hundred’s short history – 208 for five – on their way to a 23-run win over Northern Superchargers.
The home side clawed their way back into contention after the opening blitz, but Tristan Stubbs and Paul Walter saw the Originals to only the competition’s second total of 200 or more with 16 maximums, taking their side past the record number of sixes hit in an innings with ease.
The Superchargers could not match the demolition job of the Originals’ batters and, despite Adam Hose’s best efforts in scoring 59 off 27, he could only lift his side to a total of 185 for seven.
In a new-look opening partnership in the absence of captain Jos Buttler, who sustained a calf injury last time out, Salt and Evans set about causing mayhem from the off. Salt climbed into David Willey, hitting him for two boundaries in the first set.
After Salt was dropped by Dwayne Bravo on 15, a difficult high chance that just slipped through his hands near the boundary edge, Evans punished the all-rounder by hitting him for four consecutive boundaries and finishing with a six into the crowd over deep midwicket.
With the Superchargers’ bowling attack rapidly falling apart after Salt bludgeoned Adil Rashid for three consecutive sixes, captain Faf du Plessis called an early time-out to attempt to regain control.
The tactic worked, with first Evans holing out to Harry Brook at long-on for 45 off Bravo, then Salt caught out in the same area off David Wiese for 55, Brook taking a superb catch diving forwards full length.
A period of calm followed for the Superchargers, with Rashid finding his rhythm to limit the flow of boundaries, Andre Russell in particular finding it hard to score.
The momentum switched once again when Stubbs decided to tee-off, scything boundaries off first Craig Miles and then Wiese, the latter picking up the most expensive bowling figures in the competition’s history with 53 coming off his 20.
After Stubbs was caught from a Bravo slower-ball for 46 off 23, Walter’s 26-run cameo finished the innings for the Originals and left the Superchargers with a monstrous chase of 209.
Despite Adam Lyth getting the innings off to a good start, repaying Stubbs for some of the treatment he dished out while batting by hitting him for a boundary in the first set, the chase rapidly lost momentum for the Superchargers, who themselves had posted 200 for five in winning last year’s fixture here.
Lyth whacked two sixes and five fours in his 46 off 24 but could not repeat the feats of the openers earlier in the day. When Walter picked up two wickets in two balls, first Lyth caught at mid-off and then Brook first ball caught at deep backward square, the result looked a near formality.
Late thrills from Hose, who scored a boundary-fuelled 23-ball fifty, and sixes from Wiese kept the crowd cheering late into the evening, but in reality the Superchargers were always going to fall short.
The result ends their eliminator hopes, with the Originals still in contention.