The Hundred: Will Smeed stars as Phoenix end Rockets 100% record

By Callum MatthewsBBC Sport
The Hundred, Edgbaston
Trent Rockets women 145-5 (Graham 44*) beat Birmingham Phoenix women 134-9 (Wong 27; Johnson 3-27) by 11 runs. Scorecard; Table
Birmingham Phoenix men 145-4 (Allen 43, Smeed 36) beat Trent Rockets 144-6 (Malan 51; Milne 2-13)by six wickets. Scorecard; Table

Will Smeed's blistering 13-ball 36 gave Birmingham Phoenix the platform to end Trent Rockets' 100% record in the men's Hundred at Edgbaston.

Rockets made 144-6, with England's number one-ranked Twenty20 batter Dawid Malan top-scoring with 51, while the current men's MVP Adam Milne took 2-13.

Smeed and New Zealand's Finn Allen blazed Phoenix to 60-1 in the 25-ball powerplay, and that ultimately left them in control despite Rashid Khan taking 3-26.

England all-rounder Liam Livingstone hit the winning run, to guide Phoenix to a six-wicket win with 26 balls remaining.

The win lifts Birmingham to fifth, while Rockets remain top of the eight-team table.

Earlier, a fired-up Katherine Brunt once again won her ongoing battle with India's teenage superstar Shafali Verma as Trent Rockets edged past Birmingham Phoenix in the women's Hundred at Edgbaston.

Trent Rockets made 145-5, mainly thanks to some late hitting which added 27 off the final 10 balls, with Heather Graham making an unbeaten 21-ball 44.

In reply, Phoenix, who have now only won one of their first four games, lost regular wickets and stuttered to 92-7.

Issy Wong gave them hope by clubbing 27 off just 11 balls, before Brunt induced a top edge on a pull, and completed the catch herself, resulting in a mini lap of honour in celebration.

Rockets held on to win by 11 runs, and their second win leaves them fourth in the eight-team table, while Phoenix are fifth.

Sensational Smeed starts superbly

At just 19, how do you introduce yourself in a new franchise competition?

How about a 13-ball 36? It's not bad, is it?

Smeed is the latest product of Taunton's King's College, after England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and opener Tom Banton, and after sitting out Birmingham first three games, this was his first game in the tournament.

He started with a single, and a couple of well-run twos, before going on the charge.

The maths and economic undergraduate picked up a four, and then a slog-swept six over fine leg off Samit Patel, before he climbed into Timm van der Gugten.

He cracked a pull over square leg for six, before sending the next ball over mid-wicket. He finished the set with two fours - the final a beautiful crushing straight drive that exuded class.

Disdain and confidence: those are the only words you can use to describe Smeed's introduction.

Worm for Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix men in the Hundred
Will Smeed and Finn Allen's electric start left Phoenix well ahead of where Rockets were at the same stage

Brunt v Verma entertains again

It has been one of THE battles of the summer.

Verma started well - scoring 159 runs in the Test match between England and India - but since then Brunt has found a way.

The 17-year-old has failed to get past 48 since, with Brunt, who is 19 years her senior, dismissing her four times in seven innings.

There have been boundaries from Verma - five in a row in one game. There have been stares and fiery celebrations from Brunt. But Brunt appears to be having the last laugh.

Here, Verma had no-look pulled England's premier fast bowler for four, and bunted her back over her head, before a slower-ball yorker deceived the combative right-hander and she was bowled for just 14.

Cue more fist pumps and a raucous "come on" from Brunt.

A tweet from Neil Virani

As the battle has unfolded this summer, Brunt has banged the ball in shorter, aiming for the body of Verma, and the Indian has continually backed away towards the leg side, and today left her stumps fully exposed to be bowled.

The good news? Trent Rockets and Birmingham Phoenix are local rivals so they will come head-to-head again in the group stage on Friday, 13 August at 15:30 BST.

Stick it in the dairy.

The one Wong ball which cost Phoenix 10 runs

At just 19, Wong is considered a future England bowler because of her express pace, and wants to hit the 80mph mark.

She has already been in and around Heather Knight's squad, but is yet to make her debut.

She had Sarah Glenn trapped lbw at the start of her final set of five, before it all started to unravel.

Wong bowled a slower ball above waist height - which is a no-ball, so saw Rockets gain two runs, plus there was a single taken - before it happened again the next ball.

That meant that she had to be taken off - with two balls of her final set of five remaining - and replaced by a different bowler. Emily Arlott's first ball went for four, meaning that one ball cost Phoenix 10 runs.

The first one was potentially harsh, with the batter advancing down the track, and replays suggesting it may have dipped by the time it reached the crease.

Wong showed great courage to speak in the interval, saying she was "disappointed", but that she would continue to back her slower ball "because it is something that I've really worked on".


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