Report: Southern Brave v Birmingham Phoenix Women
Birmingham Phoenix could not end the unbeaten run of Southern Brave in The Hundred, who won by eight wickets to go top of the table.
Danni Wyatt was the lynchpin, hammering an unbeaten 69 from 40 balls including four sixes and making mincemeat of the 141-run target set by Phoenix, chasing it down with 18 balls to spare.
Brave had lost Smriti Mandhana early in their chase, caught hitting into the wind at deep midwicket off the 8th ball, but Dunkley ensured her side kept up with the required rate during the 25-ball powerplay.
Dunkley eventually fell to the 43rd ball, unfortunate to be run out at the non-striker’s end after a Wyatt drive deflected off the hand of bowler Abtaha Maqsood. Wyatt, though, ploughed on undaunted, slamming Izzy Wong for the first six of the day over cover before bringing up a 33-ball half-century off the 72nd and seeing Brave home with bags of time to spare.
Earlier, Phoenix’s new opening partnership of Verma and Eve Jones had seen the pair add 58 runs from 45 balls, with Brave captain Anya Shrubsole was punished for 17 runs from her initial five, Verma showcasing her ferocious pull shot. She added insult to injury in the next set of five by sending the 22nd ball just clear of Shrubsole at mid-on.
Skipper Amy Jones and Katie Mack combined in a 72-run partnership to ensure the punishment of the Brave bowlers continued. Jones saved the best for the 89th delivery: facing speedster Lauren Bell, she moved across her stumps, got down on one knee and swept beautifully through backward point for four.
Phoenix struggled in the final 10 balls, with Mack run out courtesy of an astute throw-in from Dunkley at midwicket before Erin Burns fell LBW to Shrubsole without scoring.