The Hundred 2022

‘Welsh Fire will be kicking themselves’ -Twitter treated to a tight game between the Welsh Fire and the Birmingham Phoenix

David Miller, with 35 off 30, almost got the Welsh team over the line
The Hundred 2022
The Hundred 2022 (Image source- Twitter)

A Superb bowling exhibition in the end overs by Kane Richardson and Tom Helm with the Welsh Fire needing 13 to win off 10 balls allowed the Birmingham Phoenix to snatch a four-run victory from the jaws of defeat at Sophia Gardens.

Having only reached 130 in their 100 balls it seemed to set up for the Fire to notch their first win of the summer in front of a huge crowd. David Miller, with 35 off 30, almost got the Welsh team over the line, but the final push wasn’t good enough.

The Phoenix now have two wins from three games and look set to challenge to go the distance in the competition. Australian fast bowler Richardson was named the Hero of the Match as he took 2 for 15 in his 20 balls, including 11 dot balls.

Welsh Fire skipper Josh Cobb called the coin right and won the toss and put the Phoenix into bat. Three days earlier last season’s runners-up had notched 176 in a revenge win over the reigning champions Southern Brave with 20-year-old opener Will Smeed smashed the first century in the Men’s tournament.

Smeed was looking good to score big this time too, but David Payne had other ideas and sent him back after a mere four balls without scoring. The home pace attack kept a tight leash on the Phoenix batters and they limped to 50 off 50 balls. Along the way, they lost all their top-order batters, many of whom could not get going yesterday.

Moeen Ali and Chirs Benjamin steadied the ship with a stand of 22 for the second wicket before two wickets fell in a superb set of five from Scrimshaw. Ali was caught behind after striking a boundary, and three balls later Liam Livingstone gave his much-prized wicket away trying to ramp the home fast bowler. That made it 27 for 3 and the powerplay score of 27 in 25 balls was the lowest of all time for the Phoenix.

Cobb then introduced himself to the attack and managed to tighten the screws. Benjamin was caught on the boundary by Waine Pretorius, although claimed the maximum as the South African fell over the boundary, but Cobb bowled him next ball.

By the end of a set of 10 balls from the Fire captain, the Phoenix were 37 for 4 with 40 balls gone. The Phoenix needed a partnership and it came from Aussie star Matthew Wade and Miles Hammond, who put on 52 for the fifth wicket.

Wade hit Scrimshaw, Pretorius, and Adam Zampa for maximums, but then fell to Zampa as he went for a repeat. He scored 38 as the Phoenix slumped to 94-6 with 22 balls to go. They reached 130 for 7 in the end, with Tom Helm pulling the last ball for an invaluable six.

The Welsh Fire, having lost their opening two games, desperately needed to hold their nerve in a moderate run chase. Their two totals this season in those defeats were only 119 and 107.

The Phoenix didn’t give a run in the first set of five balls from Kane Richardson and he also removed Joe Clarke. Sam Hain wasn’t going to hang around, ramping a six to get off the mark. He eventually chopped onto a slower ball from Helm having scored 23 off 15 balls to leave the Fire 28 for 2.

Tom Banton ended off the powerplay with a four and a six to take the home side to 34, but when Ben Duckett was bowled by Ben Howell the Fire were 53 for 3. They reached the 50-ball mark with 59, nine runs ahead of the Phoenix total, and it was anyone’s game.

Banton and David Miller put on a stand of 32 for the fourth wicket, including 11 runs off a set of five from Imran Tahir. Successive sixes from Miller off Livingstone put the Fire back in the driving seat and they needed 13 off the last 10 balls. Richardson and Helm were successfully able to defend that total in the end.

Twitter was abuzz as usual, we will take a look at some of the reactions here


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