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Will Smeed hits the Hundred’s first hundred to get Birmingham Phoenix off the mark

Birmingham Phoenix 176 for 4 (Smeed 101*) beat Southern Courageous 123 (Davies 33, Brookes 5-25, Richardson 3-19) by 53 runs

Will Smeed hit the primary hundred within the Hundred as Birmingham Phoenix thrashed reigning champions Southern Courageous by 53 runs in a sun-soaked Second Metropolis.

On NHS Heroes Evening at Edgbaston, with NHS staff and help employees invited alongside as a thanks for his or her good work, a 14,000 crowd was royally entertained as Smeed socked an unbeaten 101 off 50 balls to carry his aspect to 176 for 4.

Courageous replied with a paltry 123 all out as Henry Brookes loved a dream debut on the bottom he has all the time referred to as residence. The Edgbaston product took 5 for 25 and two glorious catches within the outfield as Phoenix banked their first victory of the marketing campaign and handed James Vince’s aspect their first defeat in 9 matches.

After Phoenix have been put in, they leaned closely on Smeed after Chris Benjamin, promoted to open, and Moeen Ali every raced to 17 however then perished. Benjamin despatched up a skier off Marcus Stoinis earlier than Moeen, having lifted George Garton deep into the group at midwicket, chopped James Fuller’s first ball on to his stumps.

Smeed galloped to a 25-ball half-century, reached with six over lengthy off off Jake Lintott in a stand of 80 in 44 balls with Liam Livingstone. Livingstone was the highest six-hitter in final yr’s Hundred, however this time by no means actually hit his stride, scoring simply two from his first seven balls and 21 from 20 earlier than lifting Lintott to additional cowl.

Into the final ten balls, the massive query was whether or not Smeed might full his first skilled hundred. He wanted 5 runs from the final three, and a 4 and a two took him to the landmark from 49 balls.

Phoenix set about defending their complete with an more and more depleted seam assault, Adam Milne (Achilles) having joined Matt Fisher, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone on the absentee record. However Kane Richardson quickly stepped up, bowling Vince along with his first ball after the Courageous captain had smote Moeen for 16 in three balls within the first set.

Richardson conceded only a single from his first 5 balls and Phoenix struck once more when Stoinis was brilliantly caught by Brookes at quick tremendous leg off Tom Helm.

Brookes adopted that up in sensational type by hanging along with his second, tenth, thirteenth, fifteenth and seventeenth balls. Quinton de Kock despatched again a return catch, Tim David lifted to deep sq. leg, Alex Davies was bowled via an tried scoop and Fuller and Garton have been pinned lbw. Who wants Milne, Fisher, Woakes and Stone?

Brookes hadn’t fairly completed. At 108 for 7, Courageous’s one sliver of remaining hope lay in some pyrotechnics from the big-hitting Ross Whiteley, however when he hoiked Benny Howell to lengthy leg who was ready beneath the ball? Brookes made no mistake and Phoenix closed out a victory which owed every thing to the precocious expertise of two younger Englishmen.

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