In a thrilling match, Manchester Originals emerged victorious against Birmingham Phoenix by five wickets in The Hundred. Fi Morris stole the show with the best figures in the tournament, claiming 5-7, while Sophie Ecclestone also made a significant contribution with figures of 4-11. The Phoenix team struggled and were bowled out for a mere 87 runs at Old Trafford.
The Originals faced a low target but faced a collapse, going from 69-1 to 85-5 after Laura Wolvaardt’s dismissal, who had scored a brilliant 38 off 34 balls. However, Kathryn Bryce played a crucial role and hit a boundary off the penultimate ball to secure victory for her team.
This is the first completed game for the Manchester Originals in this year’s competition, as their first two matches were affected by rain. On the other hand, the Birmingham Phoenix are still searching for their first win.
Morris’s exceptional performance surpassed the previous record set by Josh Little in the men’s competition, where he took 5-13. In the women’s competition, Marizanne Kapp held the previous best figures of 4-9, which were achieved earlier this year.
Sophie Devine was the top scorer for the Phoenix with 27 runs, while the rest of the team struggled to reach double figures. Morris made an impact from her very first ball, taking a wicket and also making her debut for the Originals after moving from Welsh Fire. Young talent Mahika Gaur impressed with her bowling, conceding only 18 runs from her allocated 20 balls.
All ten wickets for the Phoenix were claimed by the Originals’ spinners, with Amanda-Jade Wellington also contributing by taking a scalp. The only pace bowler who managed to take a wicket in the game was Tess Flintoff, who dismissed Emma Lamb from the first ball of the Originals’ innings, caught behind.
After the match, Morris expressed her satisfaction with the team’s performance on the slow and low surface, stating that they played to their strengths, relying heavily on spin bowling. Although they faced some difficulties towards the end, Morris highlighted the importance of crossing the finish line.
Manchester Originals captain Sophie Ecclestone admitted that there were nerves while going out to bat due to their lack of game time. She praised Morris for her outstanding bowling and acknowledged her hard work and talent.
Overall, it was an exhilarating match that showcased the brilliance of Fi Morris as she dominated with the ball, leading her team to an impressive victory.