Report: Birmingham Phoenix Men v London Spirit
Birmingham Phoenix blazed belatedly into form in the Men’s Hundred, signing off their campaign with a 77-run win over London Spirit at Edgbaston.
Phoenix at last delivered the collective batting power display which has eluded them until the last game, piling up 185 for five, led by Jamie Smith (52, 31 balls) and Ben Duckett (47, 33).
Spirit were then sentenced to their fifth defeat of a disappointing campaign by a sensational opening burst from Adam Milne. The Black Caps paceman took three for two with his first nine balls on his way to figures of four for 20 and Tanveer Sangha added three for 15 as Spirit folded for 108 all out in 89 balls.
Phoenix’s victory prevented them ending up with the wooden spoon which now rests with Northern Superchargers.
After choosing to field, Spirit took a wicket first ball when Will Smeed chopped Tim Southee to short third man, but their next successes were long coming. Smith and Duckett added 94 in 54 balls and then Duckett and Moeen Ali crashed 51 in 21.
Smith timed the ball beautifully in a 30-ball half-century while Moeen smote four sixes in a violent cameo before sending up a skier off the steady Southee. Moeen departed with just 88 runs in six innings in this year’s Hundred behind him.
Four balls later, Duckett top-edged a simple catch to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade but less enjoyable for Southee, who ended with three for 23, was the sight of Benny Howell planting him miles over mid-wicket. Howell’s ten-ball 23 rounded off much Phoenix’s best batting display of the tournament.
Milne then delivered a brilliant opening burst in which he removed Zak Crawley, played on, Michael Pepper, caught behind, and Matthew Wade, bowled by a beauty. Nine balls into their reply, Spirit were broken.
Milne added a fourth victim when Dan Lawrence chipped to mid on. Daniel Bell-Drummond (23, 14 balls) made it into double figures, the only top-five batter to do so, but then charged and missed at Tanveer Sangha.
Daryl Mitchell averted total embarrassment for his side with a beefy 57 (35 balls) but the fact that nine Spirit batters scored 22 between them said everything about their feeble display.
Tickets going fast for for The Hundred
The Hundred is an unforgettable experience, bringing world-class sporting action and excitement this summer. Tickets are selling fast for all four games at Edgbaston.
Tickets this year remain great value, with prices set at £5 for juniors aged 6-15, free for children five and under, and adults starting from £18.