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The 2023 Hundred comes to a close this weekend, with the final set to played at Lord’s on Sunday – here are six breakout stars from this year’s men’s and women’s competition.

It’s been a more star-studded competition than ever this year, with more international and England stars featuring in the tournament. However players as yet unproven on the senior international stage made their mark on the tournament, and earmarked themselves as ones to watch in the near future.

Gus Atkinson

Oval Invincibles

At 25, Atkinson has had quite a few injury problems follow him around during his short career. However, he was fit and firing for this edition of the Hundred. With rumours already swirling over his express pace and impressive speed gun numbers already clocked, the spell that put him on the map came against England’s white ball captain at the Kia Oval. After Jos Buttler was able to take a couple of boundaries off him in his first set, his second as explosive.

He was clocked at speeds of up to 95 mph and dismissed Phil Salt for an 11 ball two. A beamer at Buttler when he was brought back on was followed up by a 94mph free hit that Buttler couldn’t get anything on. While Spencer Johnson’s figures of 3-1 stole the show, Atkinson dominated the headlines the following week with first England call up, to their World Cup squad no less. Despite being protected from over-bowling and rested for several matches, he still managed to take ten wickets in five games during the groups stage.

Jamie Smith

Birmingham Phoenix

Smith has been climbing the ranks of county cricket for several years, but his impact for Birmingham Phoenix this year was a bright spot in an otherwise difficult campaign for the side. He hit two fifties and finished the group stage as the sixth-highest scoring batter, with only Harry Brook among those above him with a higher strike rate.

Smith’s final game for the Phoenix saw him put on a 94-run partnership off 55 balls with Ben Duckett, up against the likes of Tim Southee and Liam Dawson. His most impressive innings, however, came against finalists Oval Invincibles, against whom he put on 60 from 33 balls and earning a player of the match award.

Josh Tongue

Manchester Originals

Tongue has been one of the breakout stars of the summer in red ball cricket. But, his performances in the Hundred have labelled him as also one of the rising stars in the white ball game, alongside earning him an England T20I call up. Ahead of the Eliminator, Tongue has taken seven wickets in five games with Manchester Originals – on par with Josh Little as the leading wicket-taker in their attack.

His best performance was against Trent Rockets where, after firing down a wide for the first ball of the innings, he bowled a beauty of a delivery to dismiss Alex Hales on the re-bowl. From there, he finished up with two wickets in four balls to dismiss Colin Munro and Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Spencer Johnson

Oval Invincibles

Johnson came into the competition off the back of a breakthrough year in Australian domestic cricket. Having had a successful Big Bash campaign earlier in the year, he followed up in the Hundred with an extraordinary debut. He took 3-1 from his set of 20, cleaning up the Manchester Originals’ tail, and rendering their explosive opening partnership powerless.

While he has a quieter tournament following that spell and failed to take a wicket in his next three games, he broke through in his final match of the group stage by shattering Joe Root’s stumps.

Ryana MacDonald-Gay

Oval Invincibles Women

In the women’s competition, 19-year-old Ryana MacDonald-Gay made waves at the Oval Invincibles. Following on from her role in their victorious campaign last year and her appearances in the U19 T20 World Cup earlier this year, she took four wickets in her first match of this year’s competition.

She snared Laura Wolvaardt and Deandra Dottin in her spell to finish with figures of 4-16. Her knack of picking up big wickets continued into the middles stages of the competition. Her other victims included Amy Jones and Richa Ghosh.

Paige Scholfield

Oval Invincibles Women

Paige Scholfield did not play a match in both of the previous two Hundred seasons. This year saw her move from Southern Brave to Oval Invincibles, for whom she featured in six matches and became a regular wicket-taker. On Hundred debut, she picked up two wickets in consecutive balls, claiming Sophia Dunkley as her first victim of the competition before finding herself on a hat-trick after dismissing Laura Harris with her next ball. Her best figures came against Birmingham Phoenix, where she led the attack in restricting the side in a tight chase, tearing through the middle-order.