The Hundred: Ellyse Perry top scores for Birmingham Phoenix in high scoring affair in Cardiff
Perry top scored in what was a great all round performance from the Phoenix
On a scorching hot day down in Cardiff, Birmingham Phoenix Women held their nerve to secure a 19 run victory against Welsh Fire in their first match of the 2022 tournament.
Phoenix opened the batting and lost their first wicket early, Claire Nicolas beat the defence of Evelyn Jones who was bowled for just one.
Her namesake Amy joined Phoenix captain Sophie Devine at the crease, who played a great shot through mid wicket for the visitors first boundary.
Devine opened up against Lauren Filer and played the ball up and over the infield for a four. 15-1 from 15 balls.
Hartley went up for a half hearted LBW appeal against Devine, but the umpire was far from interested.
Jones then tried to go big, but her hit down the ground didn’t have the legs to reach the boundary and was caught. 15-2.
The runs were coming thick and fast for the Phoenix, but the early wickets would have given the Welsh Fire a huge boost.
Devine was taking the game to Phoenix, with back to back boundaries off the bowling of Sutherland as she raced onto 22.
A third boundary in quick succession was followed by a fourth, superbly hit through the infield and raced away on the dry surface.
42-2 after 25 balls.
Matthews went on to bowl, and Devine made her pay for a short ball, scooping up and away for the first six of the innings. She moved to 36.
A second six in three balls, hit to the almost exact same area of Sophia Gardens. This was followed up with a four which fell jts short of going all the way. Devine was really enjoying herself in the Welsh sun.
Devine now 47 off just 20 balls and looking in superb nick. Yet the change of bowling would be her undoing and Katie George claimed a vital wicket.
She looked to flick around the leg side, but was caught. 47 from just 25 balls had set her team up superbly heading towards the halfway mark in the innings.
Sophie Molineux was the next batter in for Birmingham, building on the start made by their captain was vastly important now.
Perry played a well placed shot through the gap and away towards the DJ booth (isn’t the Hundred great?) for four.
Nicholas let a delivery stray slightly and Perry punished by driving through the infield for four, this was followed by a second straight four as the Phoenix looked to keep up the momentum.
Perry was having a great time of hitting the ball to perfection, and another very similar boundary crept through the infield.
An edge that raced away for four brought up the 100 off 56 balls.
A quiet spell was broken with a shot around the corner from Perry that raced away for four, 113-3 with 65 balls bowled.
At 124-3 after 75 balls, the Phoenix were in a good position to set a big score on a pitch that looked to be favouring the batting side.
Perry reached a well deserved 50 from just 26 balls with a single down the ground, an innings her team would have been very grateful for.
It looked like her innings would come to an end when she lifted a shot out to the boundary, but the catch was dropped.
She then rubbed salt in the wounds by hitting the next ball for four.
The reprieve was, however, short lived as her second hit towards the boundary was caught in the deep. She departed for a superb 58 from 31 balls, a knock which had helped her team towards a strong total.
Issy Wong departed first ball as the Phoenix threatened to run out of steam towards the back end of the innings.
Emily Arlott thumped the ball back down the ground for a huge six as she looked to end with a flurry.
She should have been out soon after, but she was dropped at slip.
Phoenix finished on 161-5, a score which gave them plenty to play with.
Tammy Beaumont and Hayley Matthews opened up the innings for the Welsh Fire.
A flick from Matthews went fine and ran away for four, the first of the afternoon for the Fire.
Matthews was slightly fortunate with her next four, with a half chance put down on the boundary and the ball trickled away for four.
Beaumont wanted in on the action, and her superb flick over her head went for six. A four followed this up.
A crunching volley back down the ground from Beaumont had the Fire on 29 runs from just 19 balls.
The hosts’ game plan looked clear, and in the early stages they weren’t messing around.
With 25 balls of the innings gone, the Welsh Fire were 32-0 and ticking along nicely. Matthews hit a full toss back over Gordons’ head to move the Fire into the 40’s, and this was followed up with a powerful effort down in front of square for another four.
Matthews’ cameo was brought to an end on 20 as a slower ball from Abtaha Maqsood drew a mistimed effort that was caught.
Rachel Haynes was in at 3 for the Fire, she got off the mark with a comfortable single.
Haynes was given a gift which she drilled away for her first boundary, moving the Fire onto 53-1 from 35 balls.
Beaumont reminded the Phoenix bowlers that she was still at the crease with a superb shuffle down the pitch followed by a drilled effort for four.
This was followed up with a second straight boundary which squeezed past the bowler Arlott.
Haynes looked in the zone, and her four from the 43rd ball took the Fire past 71.
She then departed with the next ball, trying to go long but being caught out in the deep. Her 14 run cameo came to a premature end.
Annabel Sutherland joined her captain at the crease.
Half way through their innings, Welsh Fire were 75-2 and required a further 87 runs to win. Even and all to play for in the Welsh capital.
The Phoenix put the squeeze on very well, and the pressure on the home team began to build. Sutherland knocked Maqsood away for four to at least ease some of the tension.
She followed this up several balls later with a huge six, she looked keen to drag her side to within victory.
Tammy Beaumont’s effort with the bat then came to an end, she attempted coming down the pitch but her swing missed the ball and she was stumped for 39 runs.
The hosts required 59 from the final 30 balls, some top bowling from the Phoenix was just starting to edge the game in Birmingham’s favour.
It looked as though Sutherland would take the lead in the run chase, she moved into the 30s with some big hitting.
However, she wouldn’t be there until the end as a heave towards the boundary was caught comfortably.
She departed for 34, leaving the Fire 123-4, 39 from 16 balls required.
A late cameo from Wilson kept the Fire in with a slim chance, but the game was slipping away from the hosts.
A tidy final five balls from Molineux saw the game out for the visitors and Birmingham Phoenix took the win by 19 runs.