Report: Manchester Originals v Birmingham Phoenix Women
Fi Morris claimed the best figures in the short history of The Hundred as her five for seven from 16 balls fired Manchester Originals to a narrow five-wicket victory against Birmingham Phoenix.
Off-spinner Morris and England spin star Sophie Ecclestone shared nine wickets as the Phoenix were skittled for just 87 in 96 balls. Captain Ecclestone came close to achieving her own five-for, en-route to outstanding figures of four for 11 from 20 balls.
The Originals made hard work of the chase, albeit they always appeared in control after opener Laura Wolvaardt’s 38, before finally sneaking home with a ball to spare.
Morris is in her first season with the Originals having previously played for Southern Brave and Welsh Fire, and this was her best return in any form of senior cricket. It was also the best haul of any bowler in either the women’s or men’s Hundred to date, beating Josh Little’s five for 13 for the Originals Men against Oval Invincibles on this ground last August.
All 10 Phoenix wickets fell to spin, with Australian Amanda-Jade Wellington also striking after the visitors had been inserted.
The Phoenix’s collapse from 52 for one proved costly as they lost for the second time in three matches including a no result.
A tight opening spell from teenage star Mahika Gaur, who went for just 18 runs off her 20 balls, set the tone for the Originals in their first non-rain affected fixture following two no results last week.
Phoenix dug in to see out a powerplay in which they scored just 25 runs for no loss, with boundaries hard to come by early on in the innings.
And it was Ecclestone who eventually got the breakthrough, getting the wicket of her opposite number Eve Jones stumped for 18.
The 24-year old struck again not long after, collecting the wickets of Sophie Devine, Erin Burns and Emily Arlott in a stellar performance with the ball.
But Ecclestone was outshone by her fellow spinner Morris, who skittled the Phoenix batting line-up. The West Midlands outfit were left stunned, with a string of single-digit scores not enough to seriously test the hosts.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Originals though, who saw opener Emma Lamb caught behind off the first ball of the innings.
The anchoring partnership of Wolvaardt and Ami Campbell, the atter who contributed 28, set the victory.
While they endured a wobble it finally fell to Kathryn Bryce to secure victory with a boundary through point on the penultimate delivery of the innings, after Phoenix fought back with neat bowling performances from Tess Flintoff and Katie Levick who combined to take three for 22.
The result means that Originals move up to third in the table, while Phoenix sit in sixth and are still yet to claim a win.
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