Jos Buttler’s measured 59 could not stop the Manchester Originals from slipping to an enthralling Hundred defeat in the cross-Pennine derby with Northern Superchargers at Emirates Old Trafford.
The England white-ball captain scored only his second half-century in 14 innings since replacing Eoin Morgan at the end of June, his top-score in a competitive 161 for four.
But that total was overhauled with six wickets and as many balls to spare thanks to opener Adam Lyth’s 51 off 30 balls and a crucial 33 from England star of the future Harry Brook, including two leg-side sixes.
Buttler worked the ball well in a 41-ball innings which showed flashes of brilliance in the opening game for the two rivals.
After being inserted, Buttler hit one of eight sixes in a Manchester innings which set off well, slowed and finished with a bang in no small part to fellow superstar Andre Russell’s unbeaten 29.
He hoisted the 50th ball of the innings over wide long on for six off international colleague Adil Rashid, although the leg-spinner would later get revenge.
Buttler shared 84 for the second wicket with Wayne Madsen, who displayed many of his skipper’s inventive qualities – the scoops, ramps and flicks – in 43 off 26 deliveries.
Buttler and Madsen shared 84 in 53 balls for the second wicket, advancing from 16 for one after David Willey’s early strike to get Salt caught at short cover.
Willey was the pick of the Superchargers bowlers with two for 24 from his 20 balls, ending Madsen’s stay when he miscued to cover, leaving the home side 100 for two after 64 balls.
From there, the Superchargers slowed the rate for a while. Rashid was excellent, going at only a run-a-ball and claiming the big wicket of Buttler, who was bowled having skipped down the pitch. That left the scoreboard reading 109 for three after 76.
However, the Originals ended with a bang. Russell and Paul Walter, the latter with 23 off 10, shared 44 in the last 20 balls, hitting three sixes apiece. But it proved not to be enough.
Like Buttler, Lyth only hit one six – pulled over long leg off Russell. But his innings felt more powerful.
His captain Faf du Plessis fell to a superb diving catch from Russell at mid-on off Fred Klaassen, leaving the Superchargers at 30 for one in 18 balls.
However, opener Lyth got the Superchargers ahead of the game. By the time he reached his half-century off 28 balls, the visitors were 85 for two at the halfway stage, needing 77 more. However, he fell two balls later, caught at deep cover off Russell.
The chase was very similar to the first innings in that a good start was made before the run-rate slowed. Like fellow leg-spinner Rashid, Matt Parkinson was outstanding, going at a run-a-ball and not conceding a boundary.
However, Willey hit two big sixes in 29, one straight off Russell into the press box window.
When Parkinson had him caught at deep midwicket, the Superchargers needed 35 off 19 – but Brook played a key hand, his couple of sixes matched by David Wiese, who hit the winning runs.