The Hundred Men 2023
The Hundred Men 2023 Logo Sat 19 August, 14:30

Trent Bridge, Nottingham

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Trent Rockets

Trent Rockets

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Trent Rockets

Phoenix

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Report: Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix Men

Trent Rockets’ title defence remains in the balance but is in better shape than before after they thumped Birmingham Phoenix by 46 runs in the final Hundred Men’s match at Trent Bridge, watched by a record crowd of 15,551.

Off-spinner Matt Carter (two for 15) and Australia all-rounder Daniel Sams (three for 17) stood out with the ball as Phoenix, now eliminated, could muster only 116 for nine despite 38 off 22 balls from Jamie Smith in response to the Rockets’ 162 for six, to which Colin Munro (34 off 17), Sam Hain (30 off 21) and Alex Hales (27 off 14) were the key contributors.

The result puts the Rockets on seven points, level with Southern Brave and Manchester Originals behind leaders Oval Invincibles on nine ahead of Brave’s meet-up with the Invincibles later. The Brave and the Originals face off in Manchester next Wednesday after Rockets wrap up away to the Invincibles on Monday.

Asked to bat first, the Rockets would have been pleased to put 36 runs on the board from the opening 25 balls albeit for the loss of two big batting forces in Hales and Joe Root. Hales at least got a start after an indifferent tournament by his own standards, but after a positive if streaky 27 off 14 balls he dragged a Kane Richardson slower ball on to his stumps, after which Root perished to a steepling top-edge taken by the bowler as he tried to propel Adam Milne (two for 24 from 20) over midwicket.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore holed out to long-on as the Rockets reached the halfway point at 72 for three. Munro, looking for his second half-century of the competition, cleared the ropes off Tanveer Sangha, Moeen Ali and Benny Howell. But the Rockets suffered a double setback with Hain and then Munro gone in the space of nine balls, Hain caught on the deep point boundary as he went to uppercut Milne before Munro miscued Howell to widish cover.

Yet Sams, Lewis Gregory and Luke Wood maintained Rockets’ momentum as the last 30 balls added 53, Sams picking out Will Smeed at deep midwicket after a valuable 20 off 12 balls to finish their home programme with their second highest total at Trent Bridge this year.

Phoenix have been looking to Smeed to fire with the bat all through the tournament but they were frustrated again as Luke Wood’s second set saw him and opening partner Ben Duckett depart. Smeed was brilliantly run out by ‘keeper Kohler-Cadmore’s direct hit to the non-striker’s end before Duckett tried to ramp his former Nottinghamshire team-mate and found a current one lurking at short fine leg in Carter. Smith hit back with 20 off Wood’s third set, including two stand-and-deliver sixes over the leg side, as Phoenix came out of the powerplay with their noses in front at 41 for two.

By halfway, though, the home side had hauled back the advantage, albeit marginal as Liam Livingstone sliced leg-spinner Ish Sodhi to short third to leave Phoenix 66 for three, needing 97 more. They held a definite edge, though, when Smith fell to Carter in the next set, given out leg before on the field and upheld on review after the ball squeezed past his bat to hit him on the toe.

Phoenix should have been five down in the next set, but Sams, having got his hands on the ball at deep midwicket as Ali flicked into the leg side, could not hold it as he landed. No matter – Joe Root held on to a sensational effort as Ali went to pull Sams in the next set before the excellent Carter bowled Chris Benjamin for two for 15 from his 20 as the visitors stumbled to 90 for six, needing 73 from 26.

Benny Howell hit Sams to cover, Sam Cook bowled Milne and Sams took his third when, after a prolonged review, Kane Richardson was given out caught at midwicket.

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