Report: Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix Women
Aussie all-rounder Erin Burns hit 38 from 26 balls and Emily Arlott 22 from 14 to keep Birmingham Phoenix in with a chance of qualifying for the final stages of the inaugural women’s Hundred.
Phoenix recovered from 71 for six, needing 55 with 42 balls left, to pip Trent Rockets by three wickets with six balls to spare after Burns and Arlott had put on 48 from 30 deliveries.
Left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon took three for 26 to make it 12 wickets in the tournament as Rockets Women totalled 125 for seven from 100 balls, Abbey Freeborn (30) and Heather Graham (26) adding 54 in 39 balls for the fifth wicket. But despite Sammy-Jo Johnson taking three for 22 to increase her tally to 15, the total was not enough.
Trent Rockets Women remain one of three teams on seven points with a home match against Manchester Originals to come, while Phoenix, on six points, travel to Northern Superchargers on Thursday.
Second and third in the final table will meet to decide who meets Southern Brave, who are already through to the Lord’s final.
Rachel Priest and Johnson gave the Rockets innings a strong start with 34 from 20 balls, both hitting sixes, but the innings lost some momentum as Johnson was lbw trying to reverse sweep off-spinner Burns, Katherine Brunt was bowled by Gordon and Nat Sciver was run out by a direct hit arrowed in from deep midwicket by Katie Mack to be 63 for four from 52.
Graham had an escape on nine when she was dropped at cover off Emily Arlott before she and Freeborn added 28 in 15 balls. But both were dismissed in the space of three balls by Gordon, who beat Freeborn’s swing before Graham hit her straight to mid-off in a final set that cost only one run.
Shafali Verma, on 16 from nine balls after her match-winning 76 not out against Welsh Fire on Monday, was caught at deep midwicket in an early setback for Phoenix, giving Brunt her wicket for the second time in the tournament and the fifth time this summer after a battle between the two that began in the England-India international series.
The innings struggled to get going as Eve Jones was leg before to Georgia Davis’s off spin and skipper Amy Jones was caught at short third man off Johnson, who quickly added a second wicket with a low return catch to remove Mack. When Sarah Glenn had Gwenan Davis caught behind they were 58 for five.
Issy Wong top-edged to short third man but Burns and Arlott turned things round. Burns swept ball 88 straight to deep backward square but Arlott, who survived a tough caught and bowled chance to Johnson, kept her cool to win the match with back-to-back boundaries.