Heather Graham Plays An ‘Absolute Blinder’

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Birmingham Phoenix Women v Trent Rockets (W) at Edgbaston on 1 August

Receiving ‘Hero-of-the-match’ cap and medal from NZ cricketing personality Simon Doull; top scorer Heather Graham (44 runs from 21 balls) told Doull she’d had ‘plenty of practice beforehand,’ from the ‘WBBL’ (Australian Women’s ‘Big Bash’ League.)

Earlier, Doull described her innings as “an absolute blinder” in a partnership that added 45 runs from ‘Rockets’ last 20 balls. Graham finished ‘Rockets’ innings with a match-winning ‘six’ that Doull described as a ‘shot-and-a-half’

Heather Graham’s batting strike rate was outstanding at more than two-runs-per-ball. Fellow Austrailan Sammy-Jo Johnson had another good day for ‘Rockets’ as second highest scorer (29 from 21) Also, Sammy-Jo Johnson was top wicket-taker of the day (3/28)

‘The Hundred’s’ 14th match was broadcast live (commentators included Ebony Rainford Brent, Rob Key and Simon Doull) from SKY Sports TV plus cricket social media (Alan Gardner for EPSN-cric-info)

*Commentators thought that ‘Rockets’ score set ‘Phoenix’ a tough target (146.) Broadcasters continued to debate ‘Rockets’ batting-order reshuffle that had previously cost them their first game against ‘Brave.’ Also, whether Heather Graham (>2rpb) might swap places with Katherine Brunt (<1rpb) ‘who’d mis-timed hitting the ball.’

*Explaining run-chases, Rob Key added that: ‘chasing one-run-per-ball was easy, 2rpb was managable, but anything beyond that and skippers start to worry’

*Match seemed even between the first five overs of ‘power-play.’ After 50 balls, ‘Phoenix’ were 61/5 compared to ‘Rockets’ 61/2

*’Phoenix’ skipper Amy Jones (1) fell to a low diving catch by ‘Rockets’ skipper Natalie Sciver, fielding at ‘mid-wicket’

*With three ‘Phoenix’ tickets down during the ‘power-play,’ Ebony Rainford Brent told viewers ‘Phoenix’ were in a ‘tricky position with a forty-ball gap between ‘fours,’ as they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals

*As ‘Phoenix’ wickets continued to tumble and the asking rate for ‘Phoenix’ exceeded two-runs-per-ball; Rainford Brent said that ‘Rockets were rocketing’ (to victory)

*Issy Wong (22 from 29) put on a show for the home crowd hitting two consecutive ‘sixes’ with 30 runs needed from the final ten balls – until caught-and-bowled by Katherine Brunt.

*With six balls remaining, ‘Phoenix’ lost another wicket; handing ‘Rockets’ their second win

*Earlier, Issy Wong, who was taken-off by umpires for two unintentional poor deliveries – told Rob Key that there was ‘no better way to challenge yourself’ (than to play cricket)

Result: ‘Trent Rockets Women’ 145/5 beat ‘Birmingham Phoenix Women’ 134/9 by 11 runs

‘Trent Rockets W’ (TR-W) 145/5 (20 ov. 1.45 runs-per-ball) Heather Graham 44 runs (from 21 balls) Sammy-Jo Johnson 29(21), Natalie Sciver 27(23), Rachel Priest 18(15); ‘Phoenix’ bowling: Kirsty Gordon 1/20, Emily Arlott 1/26, Georgia Elwiss 1/31, Issy Wong 1/33; Fow 1-46; 2-55, 3-82, 4-109, 5-118;

‘Birmingham Phoenix W’ (BP-W) 134/9 (20 ov. 1.34 rpb) Issy Wong 27(11), Katie Mack 24(29), Georgia Elwiss 16(15), Shafali Verma 14(7); ‘Rockets’ bowling: Sammy-Jo Johnson 3/28, Katherine Brunt 2/19, Sarah Glenn 1/17, Heather Graham 1/15, Natalie Sciver 1/19; Fow 1-19; 2-34, 3-36, 4-45, 5-58, 6-86, 7-92, 8-124, 9-133

Scorecard at: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/the-hundred-women-s-competition-2021-1252659/birmingham-phoenix-women-vs-trent-rockets-women-14th-match-1252713/full-scorecard