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England outcast Alex Hales smashes 40 not out and Ben Stokes DROPS a catch for SIX... as Trent Rockets thrillingly chase down the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred with dramatic late charge!

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-07-26

Alex Hales thrashed Trent Rockets to a controversial victory in the Hundred on Monday night - after a pitch invader changed the course of the contest.

Hales took the Rockets home by two wickets and to the top of the table but had struggled to 16 off 25 on a tired surface when a single off Adil Rashid saw him relinquish the strike with 41 needed off 23.

However, the presence of an intruder on the field led umpires Russell Warren and Tim Robinson to call dead ball and return Hales to the striker's end - even though he didn't appear to be in the batsman's eyeline when the ball was struck.

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Trent Rockets opener Alex Hales hit a six to secure a win against the Northern Superchargers
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The momentum shifted when Ben Stokes dropped a catching chance over the rope for a six

Northern Superchargers captain Ben Stokes and Hales were both involved in the discussions and the latter insisted that the decision to revert to 42 off 24 was amicable.

'We just agreed it would be a dead ball,' Hales said.

'It was all civil, we were all in agreement with what should happen and I think it was a fair outcome.'

The drama intensified when the ex-England batsman immediately lofted the next ball straight to long-off where Stokes somehow allowed the ball to squirm through his hands for six.

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Adil Rashid had helped the Superchargers stifle the Rockets, taking the wicket of Joe Root

'I don't think I've ever seen Stokesy drop a catch, in practice or in a match, so for that to happen was a huge moment and one I am pleased to have made the most of,' Hales added.

With just three wickets standing, win predictor - one of the tournament’s on-screen gimmicks - rated the chance of home success at just two per cent.

However, the momentum was altered in a flash and even the loss of Luke Wood soon afterwards failed to stymy the charge for the finish line.

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But Hales hit a six on a free hit after a David Willey no-ball to win the game for the hosting side

With 23 required off 11, Stokes sent down a leg-side wide and was punished further when Hales powered the extra delivery over the rope at wide long-on.

Two further sixes off David Willey - one from number 10 Matt Carter before Hales struck his third in an innings of 40 of 34 - had the 12,500 crowd bouncing and left five deliveries unused.

The Superchargers had appeared on course for a comfortable win when the Rockets slipped to 58 for six, chasing 133, but Rashid Khan’s counter-attacking 25 provided hope before the incredible late twist.

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