Birmingham Phoenix Women v London Spirit W – at Edgbaston on 23 July
Opening the batting for Spirit (in Tammy Beaumont’s absence) Naomi Dattani outgunned fellow opener Deandre Dottin, making top score for Spirit of 34 runs (from 19 balls.) Naomi matched Amy Jones earlier innings ball-for-ball. By the mid-way point, Spirit were ahead on 68/2 (Phoenix were 54/3.) Commentators said that Spirit’s win gets their campaign off to a ‘winning start’
‘The Hundred’s’ second match was broadcast live (commentators included Lydia Greenway, Mel Jones, Simon Doull, Nasser Hussain and Kevin Pietersen) from the SKY Sports TV pod at Edgbaston, with 6317 spectators; plus cricket social media. Before the match, SKY forecast 70% chance of a Spirit win. Phoenix skipper Amy Jones told SKY Sports she was looking forward to an exciting match, Phoenix hoping to score between 135 and 140
Phoenix lost both openers during five overs of powerplay. Katie Mack (7 runs from 8 balls) was caught-and-bowled by West Indies superstar Deandre Dottin. Disaster struck next over, when India’s Shafali Verma 13 (from 13) was skittled by Freya Davies.
*Spirit’s skipper Heather Knight’s first delivery was caught by Deandre Dottin at extra cover to dismiss Emily Arlott 8 (from 7.) At that point Phoenix were 24/2 (compared with Spirit 41/1)
*Thereafter, the left-and-right-handed Joneses (skipper Amy and batter Eve) hit 14 ‘fours’ and one ‘six’ adding 64 runs (from 31 balls) for Phoenix’s 4th wicket partnership.
*Noticing Amy Jones 33 (from 17) scored ‘six’ from a dropped catch, commentators were critical of Spirit’s fielding
*Player-turned-commentator Nasser Hussain later awarded ‘Hero of the Match’ to the top-scorer (albeit on the losing side) – Eve Jones who made 47 runs (from 41 balls)
*The match reached its climax during the 17th over when Emily Arlott took two Spirit wickets in three balls. Firstly, Emily dismissed South African Chloe Tryon at the second attempt (caught by Georgia Elwiss.) Secondly, Susie Rowe went for a duck. Previously, Emily’s first attempt was judged ‘no ball’ above Chloe’s waist before hitting the stumps – and thus ‘not out’
In summary, Ex New Zealand player-turned-commentator Simon Doull said that: ‘Good players hit fielders, but great players find gaps.’ Spirit’s lower order batters found more drive to score ‘fours’ needed to win the match during the final over by finding those gaps
Result: London Spirit (Women) 132-7 (19.1 ov) beat Birmingham Phoenix (Women) 128-6 (20 ov.) by three wickets with four balls remaining
Birmingham Phoenix (BP-W) 128-6 @ 6.4 runs-per-6 ball: Eve Jones 47 runs from 41 balls, Amy Jones 33 from 17; Shafali Verma 13 from 13; LS-W bowling: Deandre Dottin 28/2, Heather Knight 11/1, Charlie Dean 15/1, Freya Davies 19/1, Deepti Sharma 27/1; Fow 1-22, 2-24, 3-37, 4-101, 5-114, 6-120
London Spirit (LS-W) 132-7 @ 6.87 runs-per-6 ball: Naomi Dattani 34 runs from 19 balls, Deepti Sharma 28 from 24, Heather Knight 21 from 17; BP-W bowling: Emily Arlott 2/30, Erin Burns 2/15, Kirstie Gordon 1/25, Issy Wong 1/31; Fow 1-17, 2-51, 3-81, 4-108, 5-108, 6-108, 7-124