Birmingham Phoenix 134/9-145/5 Trent Rockets Women (The Hundred Women)
Birmingham Phoenix 145/4-144/6 Trent Rockets Men (The Hundred Men)
After both Trent Rockets teams collected victories midweek, Sunday afternoon would see a role-reversal as the Women won their second successive outing, and the Men, well they lost for the first time.
The minor changes to the Women’s squad paid dividends and, with the openers having clicked into gear, they soon motored their way through their innings, with just five wickets falling, two going early in Sammy-Jo Johnson, for 29 to Abtaha Maqsood (run-out) and Rachel Priest for 18 when being caught and bowled by Emily Arlott.
Captain Nat Sciver put in her usual, strong shift but was gazumped by her opposite number, on wicket, Alice Jones, off a bowl by Kirstie Gordon, the Rockets at this point being 82-3.
Sciver’s replacement, Heather Graham, would be seen to take them past the century, from a sweet six, in what was a relatively easily innings, she eventually pushing an impressive 44 n/o from her knock; Sarah Glenn was in and back to the pavilion somewhat quickly when being done LBW by Issy Wong.
However, Wong would get herself in a knot late in the innings when being wrapped at sixes and sevens both by the ball, and the Rockets batters, Abigail Freeborn joining Graham to see them over the line, posting 144-5 and giving the Phoenix a strong 145 to chase down.
The Phoenix opening batters suffered badly however, the wickets falling in quick succession.
Sammy-Jo Johnson struck first, taking Eve Jones and an excited Katherine Brunt caught, and bowled, her rival Shafali Verma with Nat Sciver then taking the wicket of Amy Jones, and, all of a sudden, the Phoenix were at 36-3.
The dismantling of the Phoenix batting order continued as Heather Graham got in on the act with the of Erin Burns, a simple catch by Johnson, and it was she who took care of Gwen Davies, caught by Sciver, to which point the Phoenix found themselves at 58-5 and all-at-sea.
Katie Mack put an innings of 24 runs together before Sarah Glenn bowled her, then Georgia Elwiss would fall to a Heather Graham catch off Johnson, she going on to post bowling figures of 3-28 (off 20 balls).
As Wong came into bat, the century, eventually, was passed by the hosts, and she got some revenge on Sciver by hitting her for a couple of sixes, but Kat Brunt took extreme delight in taking her wicket, for 27, when Wong was caught and bowled – Brunt, at full-steam, after the catch, a sight to behold.
With the balls running out, the Phoenix batting order was in a similar position and soon that of Emily Arlott was run-out by Sciver with a ball remaining, the Rockets having plenty in the tank to see themselves over the line and register a second victory.
Of those Rockets bowlers, Sammy-Jo Johnson at 3-28, was joined by Katherine Brunt, who posted figures of 2-19 off 15 balls, before the Men took to the crease in mid-afternoon.
However, for all the excitement Brunt and company provided in the earlier innings, the Men laboured to a first defeat, by six wickets, to the mid-table Phoenix.
Batting first, both Rockets openers went cheaply as first D’Arcy Short, after just three balls for zero, went to an Imran Tahir catch, bowled by Adam Milne, before Amex Hales, when going for a big boundary, was taken by Will Smeed, from a Moeen Ali bowl, and suddenly the Rockets found themselves labouring at 59-2.
Dawid Malan and Samit Patel rallied reasonably, both claiming boundaries, and both knocking decent scores, Malan registering a half-century having taken the Rockets past the century earlier in the innings.
Patel would go to another Smeed catch, the youngster enjoying himself out in the Edgbaston field just as he’d done in the crease earlier in the day, whilst the Rockets captain, he also went cheaply, registering just three runs.
Straight after Malan had brought up his fifty with a huge six off Tom Helm, then he was gone, he being run-out by Moeen Ali and pretty much straight after, Rashid Khan was caught by Liam Livingstone when going for a six off Milne; at this point, the Rockets were now at 128-6, Matt Carter and Tom Moores eventually seeing the Rockets past the finish line, posting a 144-6 total.
The Phoenix didn’t need much time to reach the run-chase set them, doing so in just 74 balls, Smeed proving just as able with the bat as he was in the field, knocking 36 in double-quick time before being caught by Short.
The loss of Smeed didn’t fade the Phoenix however and they were soon passing a century as Moeen Ali joined Finn Allen at the crease, Ali helping the Phoenix pass three figures with a flurry of boundaries.
His strong innings, putting together a quick 26 off just 17 balls, was finally brought to an abrupt end when Luke Wood caught him off a Samit Patel bowl, Allen soon followed when being bowled beautifully by Rashid Khan by which the Phoenix were 111-3.
Time was on the Rockets side, but the Phoenix batting wasn’t and, although Khan would take another wicket, that of Miles Hammond, to post figures of 3-26 off 20 balls, it was too little, too late.
The duo of Chris Benjamin and Liam Livingstone would be the ones to see the Phoenix home, the former grabbing a quick nine runs off four balls, whilst Livingstone, with 23 from 12, would take the final knock with a boundary and see the hosts to a thumping, six wicket win.
The Trent Rockets now have some recovery time before their next outing, a trip to Wales and the Welsh Fire, at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on Friday 6 August, Women at 15:30, Men at 19:00.
Rockets Women: Rachel Priest, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Natalie Sciver (capt), Katherine Brunt, Heather Graham, Sarah Glenn, Emily Windsor, Abi Freeborn, Kathryn Bryce, Nancy Harman, Georgia Davis.
Rockets Men: Alex Hales, D’Arcy Short, Dawid Malan, Tom Moores, Lewis Gregory (capt), Samit Patel, Rashid Khan, Luke Wood, Matt Carter, Marchant de Lange, Timm van der Gugten.
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @TrentBridge back to back wins for the Rockets women.