Double Defeat Ends Miserable Fri 13th

Trent Rockets Women 125/7-129/7 Birmingham Phoenix (The Hundred Women)

Trent Rockets Men 150/9-166/6 Birmingham Phoenix (The Hundred Men)

It was a day to forget for both Trent Rockets as ‘Friday the 13th’ lived up to its name for the Trent Bridge hosts, both men’s, and women’s sides, crashing to the visiting Birmingham Phoenix.

The Rockets Women chose to bat first in their evening match with Rachel Priest and Sammy-Jo Johnson looking to lead from the front in their return home, following four matches (one postponed) on the road.

Priest though would be the first to fall, she being bowled by Georgia Elwiss, before first Johnson, then Katherine Brunt, fell in quick succession, the latter being bowled by Kirstie Gordon for just one run, she being the first of Gordon’s 3-26 haul.

Sciver attempted to pull it back, but was run-out cheaply by Katie Mack and, although Heather Graham was dropped by Eve Jones shortly after, she, and Abigail Freeborn, were putting together a fifty partnership, off just 36 balls.

Graham would be the one bringing up the century for the Rockets, from 81 balls, before Freeborn went to Gordon, bowled for 30 and she was quickly followed back in by Heather Graham, caught by Issy Wong off Gordon for the Phoenix bowler’s third of the evening.

Suddenly, the Rockets were struggling at 118-6 and with just a handful of balls remaining, Kathryn Bryce looking to help see the Rockets over the finish alongside Sarah Glenn; however Mack would grab her second run-out of the evening, taking care of Glenn off the last ball of the innings, the Phoenix needing 126 to claim victory.

As with the Men afterwards, it could have been so much easier for the Women’s attack, more after Shafali Verma lost out in her battle with the ever-enthusiastic Kathrine Brunt, for just 16 runs before a devastating bowling spell saw the Rockets take the Phoenix from 47-2 when Emily Jones departed, to 585, in double-quick time – Amy Jones, Katie Mack and Gwen Davies all falling.

The Phoenix tail-end though was strong and, although Wong went cheaply, caught by Freeborn off Bryce, Erin Burns and Emily Arlott held firm, Burns eventually falling, for 38, at the hands of Johnson, caught by Emily Windsor who pulled off a deep, backwards falling catch.

Arlott however, 22 n/o, and Georgia Elwiss, saw the Phoenix to a three wicket victory, with breathing space, much to the chagrin of the home side.

It was a similar call for the Rockets Men, and, with the Phoenix batting first, it really could have so much easier for the home side, but that Phoenix batting attack after Will Smeed had dropped out early doors, took them past the century mark with the loss of just two wickets, and past 150 with just four falling.

Five of the Phoenix batting order would reach double figures, their captain, Liam Livingstone, making a half century before being caught by Steven Mullaney, off Samit Patel, and that was after the hundred was brought up.

The visitors continued to turn the screw and, although Chris Benjamin went shortly after Livingstone, it would be some time before first Benny Howell, then Chris Cooke, trooped off, with Miles Hammond putting a shift of 38 n/o, adding to Finn Allen’s early 29, and the Phoenix had notched up a total of 166-6 – it was to be a run-chase which the home side didn’t have enough in the tank to maintain.

In double-quick time the Rockets found themselves on the back foot at 28-3 as Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, and D’Arcy Short were sent packing, Hales top-scoring of the trio with just 13.

Even Patel struggled to handle the Phoenix bowling attack, and he went for 16 when being bowled by Imran Tahir, the Rockets finding themselves at 57-4, in just 36 balls, a near disaster needed to be averted.

Up stepped captain Lewis Gregory who, alongside Steven Mullaney, tried hard to steady the ship, moving the Rockets within touching distance of the century mark, that being reached off Mullaney, Gregory going right before the landmark was reached.

Once that century was overtaken, and seemingly with time, and wickets to play with, the Rockets collapsed, losing three wickets in seven balls – Tom Moores went for 13, Rashid Khan managed just two runs, and Mullaney was finally scalped, one short of his 50.

Having been 99-5, the Rockets were, all of a sudden, at 129-8, with a dozen balls remaining, and a lot of runs still to muster.

The tail-end tried, boy did they try, but, once Carter had been bowled by Tom Helm for 14, the chase was up, Marchant de Lange and Sam Cook in at the last as the Rockets mustered 150-9 in response, the Phoenix taking a 16 run victory, and with it, a double success down by the Trent.

The Trent Rockets will return to Trent Bridge, in what could be their last game of The Hundred, on Sunday, 15 August, when they host the Manchester Originals – there’s a chance, an outside chance, but a chance still, for both sides to make the eliminator match….

Rockets Women: Rachel Priest, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Natalie Sciver (capt), Katherine Brunt, Heather Graham, Sarah Glenn, Abigail Freeborn, Emily Windsor, Kathryn Bryce, Lucy Higham, Georgia Davis.

Rockets Men: D’Arcy Short, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Tom Moores, Samit Patel, Steve Mullaney, Lewis Gregory (capt), Rashid Khan, Matt Carter, Marchant de Lange, Sam Cook.

Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @TrentBridge A Steven Mullaney fifty couldn’t save defeat.

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