London Spirit 160 for 6 (Crawley 41, Morgan 37, Pollard 34*) beat Manchester Originals 108 (Thompson 4-21, Crane 2-21) by 52 runs
The result continued a notable turnaround for Eoin Morgan’s team, who have already recorded more victories than they managed when finishing bottom in last year’s inaugural tournament.
Having opted to bat, Spirit soon lost Adam Rossington to a first-ball duck, leg before to Sean Abbott, and they struggled for momentum despite some powerful blows to the boundary by Crawley. His partnership of 54 from 33 with Morgan raised the home side’s prospects of a sizeable score, with the skipper walloping both Tom Hartley and Matt Parkinson over the fence to reach 37 from 26.
However, the batting side could make little of Paul Walter’s nagging line and changes of pace – the Originals’ left-armer finishing with miserly figures of 2 for 18 from his 20 deliveries.
Originals were counting on an explosive start from Jos Buttler – but England’s white-ball captain departed for just 6, skying Thompson as Mason Crane raced from short third to grab a difficult diving catch behind the keeper, Rossington.
Spirit’s seamers ensured boundaries were few and far between in the early stages, with only three registered from the first 37 balls and the visitors continued to shed wickets at regular intervals. Thompson foxed Wayne Madsen with a slower delivery and then had Walter caught at point, while the most eye-catching dismissal was that of Andre Russell, run out at the bowler’s end by Liam Dawson’s direct hit from point.
Viewing the carnage from the other end, Phil Salt (36 from 34) did his best to hold Originals’ innings together – but, when he was bowled by Dawson, any faint hopes of a recovery evaporated.