Report: Birmingham Phoenix Men v Northern Superchargers
An exceptional all-round display from David Wiese helped Northern Superchargers end Birmingham Phoenix Men’s unbeaten home record in front of a packed house at Edgbaston.
Wiese wiped 34 off just 18 balls, including four sixes, to propel the visitors to a solid total of 169 for six batting first. The Namibia international then bowled an exceptional spell of three for 15 without conceding a single boundary from his 20 balls as the Phoenix fell 33 runs short.
Opener Lyth had earlier set a platform for Wiese’s onslaught by smashing an exhilarating 26-ball half century, while Adam Hose added an unbeaten 53, to get Superchargers off to a flier and silence a bumper crowd of 21,014.
Phoenix’s chase faltered with the engine room of Will Smeed, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone and Matthew Wade all falling cheaply inside the first 50 deliveries of their reply.
It was likely to be an uphill battle to defend their flawless home streak from that point, and so it proved as the efforts of Wiese and Lyth were enough to see the Superchargers become the first visiting men’s team to win at Edgbaston since The Hundred’s inception.
Yorkshireman Lyth wasted little time in getting started. After a quiet opening set bowled by Ali, the former England Test opener opened his shoulders and swung Australia seamer Kane Richardson for three consecutive boundaries.
No bowler seemed safe. Livingstone’s first two deliveries were both dispatched for four in identical fashion, while even one of the competition’s form bowlers Benny Howell was hoicked into the Hollies Stand for a maximum.
Things then got a little trickier for the Superchargers.
The return of Ali into the attack bought “Super Moeen Ali” chants ringing out wholesale across Edgbaston, and straight away the all-rounder worked his magic to clean bowl Lyth.
Dangerman Harry Brook went for just three not long after thanks to a grab at backward point by Imran Tahir, before David Willey and John Simpson both fell for single figures in quick succession too, leaving Superchargers teetering somewhat at 99 for five.
Hose and Wiese rebuilt strongly, however, and put on 47 for the sixth wicket in quick time.
The Namibian struck four trademark hammer blows over the rope before falling to the guile of Richardson for a rapid 34 off 13. A late flurry from Hose bought him to a 32-ball half-century in the final set of the Superchargers innings, helping his side set Phoenix 170 to win.
In reply, Phoenix opener Smeed and Hammond flew out of the blocks to rack up 44 off 20 balls inside the powerplay.
But when the competition’s first-ever centurion holed out to Faf du Plessis for 18, it sparked a collapse. First Livingstone fell for five, then Moeen went for one. Adil Rashid got Wade caught behind shortly after, and from that point on the result felt much like a foregone conclusion.
Two Superchargers bowlers – Wiese and Rashid – ended the day with economy rates under one a ball, conceding just two boundaries between them from their 40 deliveries, to suffocate a Phoenix outfit built around clearing the ropes regularly.