Phoenix move into third after victory over Invincibles


Kane Richardson helped Birmingham Phoenix to a crucial win as they overcame the Oval Invincibles by 10 runs to move up to third in the table.

Richardson, removed Jordan Cox and Sam Billings in successive deliveries to finish with 3 for 22 and received excellent support from Tom Helm who claimed three for 11.

Before even the first ball of the evening was bowled there was a sense of this being a massive game for both sides in an already tight men’s group. Invincibles and Phoenix went into the game level on points with Invincibles hanging on to fourth place by virtue of net run rate ,with both sides having lost their previous match after three wins in a row.

The home side won the toss and put Birmingham Phoenix in to bat. Surrey Invincibles of the opened up with the Curran Brothers, with Tom conceding the first six  of the evening when Will Smeed picked up a maximum over deep square leg. The youngster then top edged a delivery from Mohammad Hasnain before picking out Sam Curran at long on for 23 made off 13 balls off Hasnain’s third ball.

It wasn’t long before Sunil Narine made his mark in the game when Miles Hammond(17) who hadn’t looked comfortable against Narine reverse swept straight to backward point.

Another sold out Kia Oval crowd were licking their lips in anticipation when Liam Livingstone made his way out to the middle to join  Moeen Ali, with the prospect of some big hitting to come from the pair.

It took a little while before the pair started opening their shoulders, but when they did the scoreboard soon started moving along at pace.

The pair added 69 when Narine returned with Ali(42) picking  out deep midwicket to leave Phoenix 110 for 3 after 69 balls.

It was down to Livingstone after a slow start by his standards to propel Phoenix to a competitive total. Livingstone punished five balls from Sam Curran with four maximums before falling in the deep for 45.

There was still time for a cameo knock from Australian Matthew Wade of 21 from 12 balls as Birmingham Phoenix ended their one hundred balls on 166 for 6.

In pursuit of 167 to win, Invincibles lost Will Jacks(4) leg before to Kane Richardson after only four balls. Rilee Rossouw(5) was bounced out by Tom Helm after top edging a pull to deep backward square leg to leave Invincibles 11 for 2 after ten balls.

The Surrey pairing of Jason Roy and Jordan Cox set about repairing the damage with Roy leading a charmed life having been dropped on nine and inside edging on to the stumps with the bails remaining intake.

The England international had reached his highest score of the tournament 21 when he holed out in the deep to sum up what so far has been a poor competition for him.

It was down to the big hitting of Sam Curran and Cox to get Invincibles back into the contest with the pair adding 47 before Richardson returned back to york Cox(32) who had earlier been dropped on 24.

The experienced 31-year-old Australian trapped Invincibles captain Sam Billings next ball leg before. Tom Curran avoided the hat trick ball but Phoenix were well on top with the hosts requiring 66 from 25 balls to win.

However, Invincibles were not about to throw in the white towel with Tom joining his brother Sam in getting the target down to 32 from 15 balls. Tom smashed 30 off only 12 balls before being picked up at deep backward point.

Sam Curran(30) edged Helm behind with ten balls remaining. There was still late drama to come with Invincibles left 22 to win from the final five balls.

Hasnain hit Benny Howell for six over midwicket before slicing to third man for a boundary. But Howell held his  nerve with the final two balls to restrict Invincibles to a single run, as Phoenix completed victory by 10  runs to move up to third in the table.

Oval  Invincibles    vs Birmingham Phoenix

                   Men’s Hundred Competition  Tuesday 23rd August 2022

                               Peter Moore at the Kia Oval

                     Birmingham Phoenix    166-6 (100)           Oval Invincibles 156-8 (100)

                             Birmingham Phoenix won by ten runs

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