Report: Birmingham Phoenix Women v Welsh Fire
Shafali Verma fired a brilliant unbeaten 76 as Birmingham Phoenix got a thumping 10-wicket win over Welsh Fire, keeping their hopes of qualifying for the later stages alive.
The precociously talented 17-year-old was so much in control that she was able to hand centre stage to partner Eve Jones in the later stages, allowing the 29-year-old left-hander to claim her first half-century of the competition before stepping up to hit the winning boundary as Phoenix cantered home with 24 balls to spare.
Phoenix ensured that the Welsh team couldn’t fire’s with the bat as batting trump card Hayley Matthews mistimed to mid-off for 13, Redmayne offered a return catch that Burns did hold for 17, and skipper Sophie Luff was lbw on review for seven, sparking a collapse that saw the last seven wickets fall for 30.
These included a brilliant piece of work by Phoenix captain and wicketkeeper Amy Jones to stump Sarah Taylor off an Eve Jones full toss that just about dipped below waist height and three wickets in four deliveries in Kirstie Gordon’s last set of five.
After Phoenix raced to 47 from the 25 ball Powerplay, of which Verma hit 37, taking 12 off Smith’s opening over including six to midwicket, and finishing with four-four-six in consecutive balls off Matthews’s off-spin, the pair never took their foot off the pedal.
Verma passed fifty off 22 balls and thereafter was content to play second fiddle to Eve Jones, with completed her half-century from 30 balls with her ninth boundary.
Verma could have been run out on 70 when trying to get her partner on strike but that was her only mistake and it was only a few balls later that she walloped her ninth boundary over midwicket to seal victory with 24 balls to spare.