Source: Julian Thompson

The Hundred (Women) Trophy 2023 – match 32 – Phoenix vs Spirit

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Birmingham Phoenix vs London Spirit at Edgbaston (Birmingham) on 24 August 2023 

Played as a ‘dead rubber,’ both teams had insufficient points to qualify for the tournament’s next stage. England’s Charlie Dean skippered ’Spirit’ to victory by a wide margin. Grace Harris (from Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League) hit top-score of 87 runs (from 47 balls) to bag herself a commemorative POTM Meerkat Match Hero cap-and-medal. ’Spirit’s’ consolation win ensured they ‘finished on a high’ in sixth place with 6 points (from 2 wins and 4 losses); nudging ‘Originals’ to finish the group stage seventh in the standings table. For ‘Phoenix’ as ‘spoonists’ three wafer-thin defeats by exactly the same margin of three runs was ‘miserable:’ [‘home’ to ‘Fire’ (Aug 10); ‘away’ to ‘Brave’ (Aug 16); & ’Rockets’ (19.)] Had ‘Phoenix’ won these three matches, the top three teams already qualified for the finals could have been slightly different. Introduced for SKY Sports by Charles Dagnall with Alex Tudor & Kevin Pietersen (former England players); and guests Lauren Winfield-Hill & Heather Knight; plus NZ TV personality (& ex NZ player) Simon Doull. Match highlights courtesy of SKY Sports and ‘The Hundred,’ (please see below.) Weather at Edgbaston was cloudy with occasional sunny spells, with no need for floodlights.

LS-W *Stand-in skipper Charlie Dean. *[Amy Jones keeping wicket for ‘Phoenix’] *International players Richa Ghosh (India), Grace Harris (Australia WBBL) Amelia Kerr (NZ); plus Tara Norris (US.) *England’s Heather Knight, Charlie Dean, Sarah Glenn, Danielle ‘Dani’ Gibson & Lauren Filer *Including U19’s Sophie Munro. Debutante Sophie Luff (replacing Heather Knight, who was on commentary.) *With little deviation from ‘swing,’ opener Grace Harris scored easily from Issy Wong’s extended ‘set-of-five’ with ’six’ & 2 ‘fours.’ *After hitting 2 ‘fours,’ Dani Gibson 18(10) was bowled beneath-her-bat by a ‘yorker,’ knocking back ’leg-stump,’ from Charis Paveley (1/29) *After 25 balls power-play, ’Spirit’ were 50/1 & reached 87/1 by ‘mid-way.’ *2 balls later, Amelia Kerr 17(17) was caught low-down at ‘mid-on,’ by Sophie Devine, from Katie Levick (1/29.) *Sophie Luff 3(5) top-edged to the boundary, caught deep of ‘backward-square’ by Issy Wong, from Erin Burns (1/26.) *With 16 balls remaining, Grace Harris and Richa Ghosh struck 3 ’sixes’ between them, until  Richa Ghosh was ‘run-out’ by Sophie Devine re-directing Tess Flintoff’s throw to the striker’s end where Amy Jones broke-the-wicket. *Grace Scrivens 6*not out (5) partnered Grace Harris, boosted ‘Spirit’s’ total by 20 runs from 11 balls until Grace Harris 87(47) was ‘run out’ by Tess Flintoff, from Emily Arlott’s last ball. *Best ‘Spirit’ batters was Grace Harris 87(47); *Best ‘Phoenix’ bowler Erin Burns 1/26

BP-W *Skipper Evelyn ‘Eve’ Jones [*’Spirit’ keeper Richa Ghosh] *International players Sophie Devine (NZ), Erin Burns & Tess Flintoff (Australia, WBBL), Sterre Kalis (NL) with Amy Jones, Issy Wong (England) & u-19’s World Cup player Charis Paveley. Without Hannah Baker. *Sophie Devine 4(3) ‘top-edged’ to ‘deep-square,’ caught by diving Amelia Kerr, from Dani Gibson. *3rd Umpire confirmed Amelia Kerr caught with her fingers beneath. *Lauren Filer’s first set-of-five plus 2 ‘no balls’ gifted 22 runs. *Tess Flintoff 2(3) played-on from her inner-thigh to Charlie Dean’s (1/14) 3rd delivery, said to ‘miss a ‘sweep shot’ through ‘mid-wicket.’’ *After 25 balls ‘Power-play,’ Phoenix were level-pegging: 46/2 (vs 50/1) *3 balls later, Sterre Kalis 28(16) went plumb ’leg before’ to Sarah Glenn, confirming ‘Umpire’s call’ via ‘Hawk-Eye’ ball-tracking. *With Sarah Glenn paired with Amelia Kerr, Erin Burns and Amy Jones scampered ‘ones’ and ‘twos’ when the asking rate was 2-runs-per-ball. *Firstly, Amy Jones 14 (14) drove straight to ‘extra cover,’ caught by Charlie Dean from Amelia Kerr. *Four balls later, Erin Burns 13(8) was caught at ‘long-on’ by Dani Gibson, also from Amelia Kerr. *By mid-way ‘Phoenix’ were 78/5 (vs 87/1.) ’Phoenix’s’ 5 remaining wickets fell at short intervals.*Abbey Freeborn 12(10) was ‘run out’ by Dani Gibson’s throw from deep-mid-wicket to Richa Ghosh at the striker’s end; when going for a second run. *Secondly, Eve Jones 12(11) threw away her wicket coming down-the-wicket, to Amelia Kerr’s spin; ‘bowled’ rather than ’stumped.’ *7 balls later, Issy Wong 1(3) was caught at ‘long-on’ by Amelia Kerr, bowled by Dani Gibson (2/11)*Emily Arlott 5(6) was caught ‘nonchalantly,’ by Grace Harris – said to be a ‘fine catch that hung-in-the-air,’ from Sarah Glenn (2/22) Finally, on 99/9, Katie Levick 0(3) was bowled by ‘Spirit’s’ best bowler Amelia Kerr (4/13) for a 3rd ball ‘duck.’ *Best ‘Phoenix’ batter was Sterre Kalis 28(16).

Match summary: ’Spirit’s’ innings was dominated by Grace Harris ‘phenomenal power-hitting,’ setting the ‘competition’s second-highest team score’ 172/5; second-only to ‘Welsh Fire’s’ 181/3 (Aug 14.) “Phoenix’ batters became frustrated when losing wickets at regular intervals, whenever batters took risks to accelerate their score. ’Spirit’s’ best bowler NZ’s Amelia Kerr took a ‘4-fer’ and told commentators she was ‘happy’ with her figures. Appreciating it was ‘pretty good’ to finish the tournament on a ‘high,’ POTM Meerkat Match HeroGrace Harris told Alex Tudor she wanted to ‘roll-up the wicket’ (to play again on that perfect pitch); ‘had a ball,’ with her bat (named ‘zinger-stacker,’ after a ’well known’ Aussie burger.) Grace Harris added that she’d ‘enjoyed being skippered’ by Heather Knight, rather than play against her; and she wouldn’t rule-out returning for next year’s tournament: a definite ‘maybe.

Match result: London Spirit Women 172/5 beat Birmingham Phoenix Women 99/10 by 73 runs (with 24 balls remaining)

*’Spirit’s’ batting: 172/5 (from 100 balls@1.7 runs-per-ball) Grace Harris 87(47), Richa Ghosh 29(17), Danielle ‘Dani’ Gibson 18(10), Amelia Kerr 17(17); ‘Phoenix’s’ bowling: Erin Burns (1/26), Katie Levick (1/29), Charis Paveley (1/29); Fow 1-46, 2-87, 3-103, 4-151, 5-172.

*‘Phoenix’s’ batting: 99/10 (from 76/100 balls@1.3 runs-per-ball) Sterre Kalis 28(16), Amy Jones 14(14), Erin Burns 13(8), Abbey Freeborn 12(10), Eve Jones 12(11); ’Spirit’s’ bowling: Amelia Kerr 4/13, Dani Gibson 2/11, Sarah Glenn 2/22, Charlie Dean 1/14; Fow 1-5, 2-31, 3-47, 4-66, 5-69, 6-88, 7-92, 8-97, 9-99, 10-99.

*Scorecard courtesy of BBC Sport @URL

*Match highlights (6m28s) courtesy of Sky Sports & ‘The Hundred’ @URL

*Standings @URL