Birmingham Phoenix secured their first win of the season in The Hundred men’s competition with a 41-run victory over the Oval Invincibles at Edgbaston. The star performance came from Jamie Smith, who scored his maiden fifty in The Hundred, hitting an elegant 60 from 33 balls. Moeen Ali also contributed with a 26-ball 33 as Phoenix posted a total of 160-8. Chris Woakes, playing in his first Hundred match, impressed with the ball, taking key wickets to set the tone for the match. The Invincibles struggled in their chase and were dismissed for 119, with Woakes and Adam Milne proving to be a formidable opening bowling duo.
Phoenix were previously at the bottom of the table but have now moved level with sixth-placed London Spirit on four points. The Invincibles remain at the top of the table with seven points, with four teams below them on five. The top team from the group stage will go straight into the final, while the second and third-placed teams will compete in an eliminator.
In addition to Smith’s impressive innings, there were other notable moments in the match. Smith, a right-hander tipped for an England call-up in the future, hit six fours and three sixes, including a glorious six back over the head of his Surrey teammate Sam Curran. Sam Billings, the Invincibles’ wicketkeeper, cleverly ran out Moeen and Chris Benjamin to restrict Phoenix. Woakes, in his first Hundred innings, was caught for a golden duck, and Kane Richardson finished with impressive figures of 4-32 for Phoenix. Gus Atkinson, the Invincibles fast bowler, missed the match due to soreness in his pectoral area.
Speaking about Smith’s performance, Birmingham Phoenix captain Moeen Ali said, “We have heard a lot about him but haven’t seen a lot. We gave him the opportunity to bat at number three and he really stepped up today. He was brilliant tonight.” Ollie Pope, an England batter and Smith’s Surrey teammate, praised his innings, saying, “It was a very mature knock. He didn’t just go from ball one. He gave himself a chance and picked his targets. It was a really clever knock – nothing too funky but he struck the ball cleanly.”
The Hundred matches can be watched on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the competition, with both finals being broadcast on Sunday