Report: Manchester Originals v Birmingham Phoenix Men
Pakistan leg-spinner Usama Mir hit a quick-fire unbeaten 32 and took two wickets to fire Manchester Originals to a 49-run victory over Birmingham Phoenix at Emirates Old Trafford.
Phoenix, captained by Ashes returnee Moeen Ali, crumbled to 111 replying to 160 for eight.
Mir boosted Manchester from number eight with an inventive 14-ball assault and finished with two for 27 from 20 balls as last year’s finalists claimed their first win after an early defeat and No Result.
Ali made one off two balls but did not bowl. He did, however, run out his England white ball captain Jos Buttler for 43 with a direct hit from cover at the non-striker’s end.
It was unclear whether or not Buttler had grounded his bat over the line before it bounced up.
England limited overs fringe quick Richard Gleeson also returned two for 22, including Ali lbw, as he bowled in a match for the first time since January following wrist surgery.
This was Birmingham’s first completed fixture after two No Results.
After being inserted, the Originals were only 26 for one after 25 balls following Phil Salt’s early departure lbw to Adam Milne.
With the score on 50, savvy seamer Benny Howell then struck twice en-route to three for 21 on a used pitch.
Laurie Evans was caught at short fine-leg ramping and Max Holden bowled reverse sweeping for a golden duck.
Buttler continued his encouraging start to the competition with a quartet of boundaries in 33 balls, adding to previous scores of 37 not out and 62.
But Ashton Turner, for 21 like Evans, was caught behind attempting to fend off a vicious Tom Helm bouncer before Buttler’s departure was followed by Paul Walter falling caught at short fine-leg off Howell – 105 for six after 76 balls.
However, significant impetus was added as Mir scooped, ramped and clobbered a six over midwicket off Kane Richardson.
Jamie Overton also powered a useful 22 before being run out as one of two late wickets.
Phoenix’s chase then slipped to 21 for three after 14 balls.
They lost openers Will Smeed and Ben Duckett caught at midwicket against Gleeson and fellow quick Josh Little before the former struck Moeen on the back pad with a searing yorker.
Liam Livingstone and Jamie Smith, the latter twice in two balls, hit sixes to advance. But it was only a brief respite.
Smith was caught at long-on for 15 off Walter’s left-arm seam before Mir had Dan Mousley lbw, leaving Phoenix with a mountain to climb at 64 for five after 47. And it was a task too great.
Mir had compatriot Shadab Khan caught at deep midwicket and Livingstone fell caught and bowled by his Lancashire team-mate Tom Hartley for an innings-high 27.
Hartley finished with a late three for 13 and Ireland’s Little added a second wicket to wrap up victory.
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