Local hero Jonny Bairstow stuns Headingley with impressive Welsh Fire knock


Jonny Bairstow shone as a visiting player on what is normally his home ground as Welsh Fire beat Northern Superchargers in The Hundred at Headingley.

The Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman, captain of the Fire, was on familiar territory in his first outing of the new competition and looked at ease by hitting 56 from 36 balls in his side’s imposing 173 for four.

Ben Duckett weighed in with 41 and James Neesham blasted 30 not out from just 11 deliveries.

With Harry Brook responding with 64 and Matty Potts cracking 20 from 10 balls low down the order, the Superchargers got within five runs but Jake Ball bowled nervelessly in the final set of five. Afghanistan’s Qais Ahmad took four for 13 for the Fire in an impressive display.

The Superchargers were successful in their run chase in the corresponding women’s match earlier in the day, however, thanks to a brilliant unbeaten 93 from Jemimah Rodrigues.

The Indian smashed 17 fours and a six in a remarkable 43-ball knock to rescue her side from 19 for four and and propel them to their 131-run target with 15 balls to spare. Alice Davidson-Richards contributed just 23 to their unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 122.

Hayley Matthews was the top scorer in the Fire’s 130 for eight while the Superchargers’ Linsey Smith took three for 14.

Saturday’s other match in the men’s competition saw the Trent Rockets overpower the Southern Brave by nine wickets with 18 balls to spare at Trent Bridge.

South African paceman Marchant De Lange starred with the ball, taking five for 20 from 20 deliveries as the Brave mustered 126 for eight.

That proved wholly inadequate as the hosts raced to victory with Dawid Malan cracking 62 from 43 balls and Australia’s D’Arcy Short 51 from 41.

England’s Anya Shrubsole starred with bat and ball as the Brave overcame the Rockets by 23 runs in the women’s encounter at the same venue.

Shrubsole hit an unbeaten 40 from 30 balls, combining with Stefanie Taylor (45 not out from 31) in an unbroken stand of 76, to help the Brave to 133 for five.

She then took four for 13 from 20 balls as the Rockets were restricted to 110 for seven despite 44 from captain Nat Sciver.