It was one of the nights when one of the stars of Andre Russell’s short games overshadowed the future player – England’s Harry Brook, Yorkshire and Northern Superchargers.
The stage is set: a northern derby in an opposition area, in front of a large crowd at Old Trafford…
And Brooke, 23, sent off just 33 of 19 shots to lead the Superchargers to victory and confirm his place as one of England’s brightest cricket talents.
Chasing a total of 162 for Manchester Originals, Adam Leith put on the podium with a score of 51 and captain David Wylie added 29, but Brock raised the pressure and brought him home.
Brooke seemed completely relieved. Barely breaking a sweat, he beat spinner Tom Hartley with six massive balls to turn the match in his team’s favour and lead them to a six-ball win.
“It reminds me of AB de Villiers,” said teammate Faf du Plessis, who has played most of his international career alongside the legendary white ball racket, and who still holds the record for the fastest single-day international century ever. 31 ball down.
“He hit 360 degrees everywhere on Earth,” said Originals player Phoebe Graham. “People like Kevin Petersen said he was a world-class talent and we see that quality now.”
And while he might be a star in England in the future, Brock admitted by the end of the game that his grandmother still washed his cricket bats.
“If she ever says she doesn’t like it, she’s lying!” Brock said, refreshed from leading his team to victory.
Stealing the match winning feats from the world’s best Twenty20 cricketer in Russell is not easy either.
Winning runs? Almost tick this time. Arrested diving to dismiss an opponent shooter? put a mark. Wicket (Leith) on the fifty-first? put a mark.
Russell does it all.
Standing 6 feet 1 inch tall, brimming with strength and a proud presence enhanced by a mohawk nose and ring, it looks like the man known as “Dre Ross” was made for The Hundred.
The Jamaican played over 400 T20 cricket matches around the world and proved his worth in front of crowded Old Trafford – yet somehow ended up on the losing side.
The original league started very well, with English white ball captain Gus Butler scoring 59. And if there’s one player you want to put in the tuck with 40 balls left, it’s Russell.
But England’s Adil Rashid and Russell’s West India teammate Dwayne Bravo regained some control of the Northern Superchargers with a skilful bowling, and it looked like the Originals were about to come off their strong start.
Of course, Dre Ross had other ideas.
There were 102 yards in the stands, one sent over the bowler’s head, and he had the audacity to hit the other bat with one hand when he hit 29 runs undefeated with a hitting average of 145.
Then he made some comedy from the last ball of roles thrown by his friend Bravo. He tried to make one last glory but fell to the ground with a disappointing belly punch, and the shot eventually landed on the boundary and only scored one run.
English bowler Saqib Mahmoud has dubbed the Superchargers “the team to beat” at the tournament.
Teams are sure to battle to get past Brock and his guys – but writing off a team with Russell in it is a dangerous game.
Brock will miss the next two games while managing the England Lions – who are the second most important team in the national team – but it won’t be the last we see this summer.