Sam Billings admits he is ‘incredibly disappointed’ after his Oval Invincibles team were knocked out of The Hundred by Southern Brave.
Tom Moody’s Invincibles and Mahela Jayawardene’s Brave met at The Ageas Bowl on Monday night, with the winner earning a place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Will Jacks got the Oval Invincibles innings off to a flyer, smashing five fours and three sixes in a brutal 13-ball 39.
But the visitors lost regular wickets after his dismissal, with spinner Jake Lintott starring with figures of 3-14 from his 20-ball spell as Brave restricted the Invincibles to 134-7.
Southern Brave slipped to 14-2 in the chase but two unbeaten scores of 40 from Alex Davies and Colin de Grandhomme saw the hosts home with five balls and six wickets to spare.
Oval Invincibles captain and England wicketkeeper Billings said: ‘When you lose a few wickets, it’s a case of getting a partnership together and we just didn’t do that.
‘That is incredibly disappointing because we did an excellent job to even have a sniff with the ball. It was a good pitch but we just batted poorly and it wasn’t smart.
‘All we needed was to take it deep and all of a sudden you are looking at 150 plus. We should have got that at a canter.
‘I think when we did click in those small glimpses across the competition we showed what a brilliant side we could be.
‘But it was probably a case of too many individual performances and not getting a team collective together.’
Southern Brave’s Lintott, meanwhile, said: ‘It was a really good win, I thought we showed a lot of fight.
‘Davo [Alex Davies] has done so well to get us over the line there and there have been some good contributions from Colin [de Grandhomme] and personally it was great to contribute to a win as well.
‘I think after 15 balls they were on 40 so we were really under the pump there and it would have been easy for heads to drop.
‘But it is another example of the character in the team and what a tight-knit group we are.’
Southern Brave’s five-wicket win sees them climb to the top of the Hundred table, although Birmingham Phoenix could still claim top spot and an automatic place in Saturday’s final with victory over Northern Superchargers on Tuesday.
If Phoenix lose to the Superchargers, they will face Trent Rockets in the eliminator for a place in the men’s Hundred final.
Earlier in the day, Southern Brave Women maintained their brilliant form and booked their place in the final with a 30-run win over Oval Invincibles.
England all-rounder Sophia Dunkley smashed an unbeaten 58 from 39 balls as the hosts posted 115-3, before four wickets from Amanda-Jade Wellington and three from Lauren Bell saw the visitors skittled out for just 85.
Southern Brave Women won seven of their eight Hundred group games and will face Oval Invincibles, Northern Superchargers, Birmingham Phoenix or London Spirit in Saturday’s final at Lord’s.
Australian spinner Wellington said: ‘It was really hard to start on but once Sophia Dunkley and a few of the girls got going on that pitch it actually looked like a really good pitch.
‘I think you can go into these games with a 50-50 mindset. Some people might think it is a dead rubber but we had to put on a display and put on a show for our crowd.
‘It was important as well to show we can beat that sort of team as well. We did a fantastic job.’
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