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The Hundred: Laurie Evans' fifty helps Manchester Originals past London Spirit and into final

Manchester Originals to face Trent Rockets in the men's final of The Hundred at Lord's on Saturday after sixth win on the spin sees them past London Spirit in Southampton; skipper Laurie Evans slams 72 from 34 balls as Originals reach target of 151 with 11 balls to spare

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Highlights from The Hundred Eliminator as Manchester Originals' sixth win in a row - over London Spirit - took them into the final against Trent Rockets

Captain Laurie Evans led from the front as Manchester Originals secured a sixth win in a row to qualify for the men's final of The Hundred at Lord's on Saturday, beating London Spirit by five wickets...

Story of the match

It was a case of good Evans in Southampton on Friday night as stand-in skipper Laurie powered Originals into a showdown with Trent Rockets on Finals Day at the Home of Cricket.

Evans, who has been deputising as leader ever since Jos Buttler was ruled out of the tournament with a calf injury, slammed 72 from 34 balls, reaching his half-century from just 19 deliveries.

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    The captain and Phil Salt (29 off 18) fell in quick succession after blasting 101 from 50 balls for the opening wicket and when Paul Walter (4) departed Originals had lost three for seven in eight deliveries.

    Laurie Evans (Getty Images)
    Image: Originals captain Laurie Evans struck seven fours and three sixes in his 72 from 34 balls at the top of the order

    Spirit continued to chip away but the men from Manchester went on to top Spirit's 150-6 with 11 balls in reserve, making a final that seemed a distant dream after they lost their first three matches in the tournament.

    Spirit opener Adam Rossington, skipper Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Jordan Thompson all departed for ducks - Morgan out for single digits for the fourth game running - with Spirit's total secured thanks to Zak Crawley (36 off 23), Ben McDermott (59 off 38) and Ravi Bopara (34no off 16).

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    Spirit skipper Eoin Morgan was dismissed first ball in The Hundred Eliminator, caught off Paul Walter at mid-off

    Both Crawley and McDermott - who shared a second-wicket stand of 69 from 43 balls - were dismissed by Walter (3-29 from 20 balls) one delivery after hitting him for boundaries.

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    McDermott added 40 from 29 balls with Dan Lawrence (10 off 13) for the third wicket before a collapse saw Spirit lose four wickets for 12 runs - Walter and leg-spinner Matt Parkinson (2-17 off 20) each striking twice in as many balls during that Originals-dominated passage of play.

    Bopara's late cameo gave Spirit a score to defend but Originals topped that to deny Morgan's men a final on home soil.

    'Good blokes playing good cricket'

    Match Hero and Manchester Originals captain Laurie Evans: "I would have enjoyed the win a lot more if I had finished the job off [myself] but it is amazing to get over the line. The team have been incredible all the way through. Six wins in a row and now we go again.

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    Evans reflects on his fluent half-century and looks ahead to Saturday's Hundred final against Trent Rockets at Lord's

    "There is no secret to this success - just good blokes, playing good cricket and working hard for each other. It has been so enjoyable to be a part of.

    "I have never really experienced a group of guys who like playing together as much as this. The story of our campaign has been different guys stepping up at different times.

    "Trent Rockets have been fantastic all the way through. All the pressure will be on them to win this tournament because they have been the best team. We are just going to try and cause an upset."

    Morgan: Spirit were completely outplayed

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    Morgan's side won their first four games in The Hundred before losing four of their next five

    London Spirit captain Eoin Morgan: "[Originals] thoroughly deserve to be in the final. They have completely outplayed us - out-batted us and out-bowled us. I thought we were in a magnificent position to post 165 or 170. The foundation was built but we failed to capitalise on that.

    "If we're quite honest with ourselves, we started really, really well in this tournament [winning our first four games] but haven't continued to get better whereas other sides maybe started slowly but improved quicker than us. Manchester are a good example of that."

    What's next?

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    Spirit will now face Rockets in the men's final at 6.30pm on Saturday. Build-up on Sky Sports begins at 6pm. Before that, Southern Brave will meet Oval Invincibles in the women's final. Join us from 2.30pm ahead of a 3pm start.

    What's next for Morgan?

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    Morgan is not quite sure of his future in the game but says he has been enjoying retirement from international cricket

    Is retirement now on the Spirit skipper's mind?

    "I'm not quite sure," Morgan told Sky Sports. "Tournaments are a long way away next year.

    "I've enjoyed [international] retirement a lot, I love [commentating], I love golf, I love spending more time with my family, it's been magnificent. But who knows next year?"

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