Birmingham Phoenix 160 for 8 (Smith 60, Moeen 33, Chappell 4-33) beat Oval Invincibles 119 (Whiteley 35, Richardson 4-32) by 41 runs
Birmingham Phoenix turned the Men’s Hundred table upside down by thrashing leaders Oval Invincibles by 41 runs at Edgbaston.
The visitors never recovered. They managed 119 to suffer their first defeat of the campaign, with a further blow coming from the loss of batter Jordan Cox, who retired hurt in great pain after being hit on the hand by a rising ball from Milne.
At 44 for 3 from 35 balls, the innings was wobbling but Smith heaved it into motion by smashing 20 from four balls from Sowter and Sunil Narine. Smith and Moeen AIi rebuilt the innings with a stand of 75 in 46 balls before the latter went for an optimistic bye to wicketkeeper Sam Billings and was run out by the direct hit.
Smith heaved Chappell into the hands of Jason Roy at long-off but Dan Mousley, Chris Benjamin and Milne all cleared the ropes to ensure a challenging target. Less productive was Woakes’ return to Edgbaston with the bat after he hoiked his first ball to deep mid-wicket to become the final victim in Chappell’s 4 for 33.
Woakes was spot on with the ball, though, conceding just three runs from his first set when Invincibles replied. Milne then struck with his first ball, which Will Jacks edged to slip, and the Kiwi inflicted a different type of damage with his sixth which rose into Cox’s hand, forcing him off the field.
After Woakes had Klaasen caught at slip, the visitors were 21 for 2 from 25 balls with another batter down and clearly in too much pain to return. More evidence that this was Phoenix’s night arrived when Roy feathered a reverse-sweep at Benny Howell’s second ball and the ball bounced off wicketkeeper Chris Benjamin’s grille and down into his gloves; Benjamin was only keeping because Smith was off the field after sustaining a niggle while batting.
Only a flailing miracle could preserve Invincibles’ unbeaten record but the middle and lower order flailed in vain against a Phoenix side which will face Southern Brave in Southampton on Wednesday with confidence well and truly rebooted.
Shadab Khan was missing for Phoenix through illness and will be replaced by Tanveer Sangha for the rest of the tournament after leaving on international duty.
This was Narine’s final game of the season for Invincibles, but they have a high-class replacement in Adam Zampa and hope that Gus Atkinson and Tom Curran will return from shoulder niggles when they play London Spirit on Tuesday.