Ecclestone returned figures of 3 for 8 from her 20 deliveries, as Originals successfully defended 122 at Edgbaston
Edgbaston: Manchester Originals 122-6, Birmingham Phoenix 104 – Manchester Originals won by 18 runs
Manchester Originals left Birmingham Phoenix shellshocked by masterminding an 18-run victory at Edgbaston, successfully defending a total of just 122 to claim their second victory of the season.
England internationals Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone led the charge for the visitors, ripping through the home side’s star-studded top order to leave them spluttering at 22 for 5 after 34 deliveries.
A plucky sixth-wicket partnership of 46 from Georgia Elwiss and Issy Wong kept Phoenix within touching distance of a stunning turnaround in front of a record attendance for a women’s fixture at Edgbaston, but it wasn’t to be as the Originals held their nerve at the death.
Wong, Emily Arlott and Kirstie Gordon had earlier bowled admirably to restrict the Originals to 122 for 6, a score that threatened to look some way under par until Phoenix found themselves rattled by an electrifying new-ball performance that put paid to their chances of moving up the table into second place for now.
Manchester Originals beat Birmingham Phoenix at Edgbaston [Getty Images]
Originals successfully defended 122 for 6 [Getty Images]
The Phoenix reply got off to a rocky start from the off. First Eve Jones popped one into the hands of Lee off Kate Cross for 0. Then Amy Jones was clean bowled attempting to cut a Hannah Jones delivery that looked far too straight for such a shot, leaving the home side at 10 for 2 after 13 balls.
Captain Sophie Devine fell soon after for 4, then Ellyse Perry edged through to keeper Ellie Thelkeld a few sets later. And when Ecclestone pinned Sophie Molineux in front, things went from bad to worse. Phoenix were now teetering on the brink at 22 for 5, still some 101 off the target.
An enterprising partnership from Elwiss and Wong bought Phoenix within arm’s length of a tight finish. Elwiss in particular looked to accelerate, smashing three fours in the rebuilding period as the duo put on 46 to leave them requiring 54 from the last five sets. After a quiet period, the Edgbaston crowd were briefly back to its usual raucous self.
But when Jones sent Wong’s bails flying after posting a valiant 24, it seemed a tall order. Elwiss soon followed back to the dugout for a superb 28, and with her wicket the game was as good as sealed.
Kirstie Gordon celebrates one of her two wickets for Phoenix [Getty Images]
Earlier, Originals had started their innings off at a decent rate, as openers Lizelle Lee and Emma Lamb racked up 41 between them inside the powerplay. But it was an injection of pace that saw the first breakthrough – rapid England seamer Wong caught Lee bang in front lbw for 20, after having greeted her with a fiery bouncer the previous delivery.
Lamb fell not long after to Arlott for a streaky 30, driving uppishly into the hands of Elwiss. The new partnership of Erin Burns and Amy Satterthwaite struggled to find momentum, as Wong, Arlott and Gordon were able to dry up the visitors’ ability to find the boundary.
Phoenix’s pair of slow left-armers continued to apply the pressure, and not long after Gordon had breached Satterthwaite’s defences and bowled her for 13, a mix-up off the bowling off Molineux saw new batter Ami Campbell run out for a duck.
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