Recent Match Report – Spirit vs Phoenix 30th Game 2022
Birmingham Phoenix 140 for 9 (Wade 81, Crane 4-24) beat spirit of london 139 for 6 (Bopara 45, Helm 4-17) by one wicket
The Australian wicketkeeper beat two sixes and 11 fours from 42 balls to help his side to an unlikely victory, despite being the eighth man out. Phoenix had to win in 73 balls to elevate their net run rate above Spirit’s and take them to Friday’s playoff game at the Ageas Bowl, although finishing the season on ten runs means they could still hold their own. sneak even in the event of a tie – or a no-result – in Wednesday’s match between Manchester Originals and Oval Invincibles at Old Trafford.
Consolation for Spirit is that despite the loss, they will play the eliminator on Friday for a chance to face the Trent Rockets in the Finals.
Spirit needed to win by 36 runs or more to go straight to the final, as the group winners struggled to find runs for much of their innings. Zak Crawley, back from Test duty with England, led a charmed life, successfully reviewing after being dropped for nothing and surviving again when Sangha knocked him down on a no-ball. However, his luck ran out when the awesome Helm pinned him lbw for 20.
Helm had already beaten Adam Rossington for 6 and conceded just three singles from his first 15 balls as the hosts struggled for momentum.
McDermott briefly threatened to break the shackles, hitting Moeen Ali for the first six of the day, only to hit the offspinner straight for cover and when Eoin Morgan went cheap, Spirit had 74 for 4 with 28 balls to go. However, Bopara changed the momentum, sweeping Benny Howell’s successive six as 21 came from a streak of five. The former England all-rounder hit five sixes in all before Helm caught him on the fence in the final set of innings.
Phoenix got off to the worst possible start when debutant Sol Budinger, drafted to cover injured Liam Livingstone, sent Dawson’s second ball to Crawley deep. And Dawson made it a dream start for the hosts when he castled the dangerous Will Smeed later in that set.
Moeen and Wade led a counterattack with a boundary flurry, but the required pace increased and the former succumbed hitting Jordan Thompson into the middle hands. Dawson then came back immediately after the power play to retire Chris Benjamin for a duck.
Wade continued to swing though, majestically sending a delivery from Nathan Ellis into the upper level of the tavern, but the chances of the quick win Phoenix needed faded even further. He dropped Ellis off Brad Wheal on the 44 and celebrated with six to move to 50 on 24 balls. When it finally finished, Spirit was favorite, but Sangha and Helm produced one final twist in great publicity for the format.