The Hundred: Birmingham Phoenix beat Northern Superchargers to virtually clinch Eliminator spot

Eve Jones (64 off 47 balls) stars with the bat as Birmingham Phoenix set Northern Superchargers 148 to win; Lauren Winfield-Hill (68 off 34) gets her side off to a strong start before falling to Issy Wong (2-24) as run-chase falls apart

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Birmingham Phoenix beat Northern Superchargers by 14 runs in what was effectively a knockout clash to virtually book a spot in Friday's Eliminator.

Birmingham Phoenix beat Northern Superchargers by 14 runs in what was effectively a knockout clash at Emerald Headingley to all but book a spot in Friday's Eliminator against Oval Invincibles.

STORY OF THE MATCH

Phoenix set Superchargers a sizeable 148 to chase, albeit on a decent batting deck - Eve Jones starring with 64 off 47 balls at the top of the order - and then restricted the hosts to 133-6 in reply.

Superchargers skipper Lauren Winfield-Hill (68 off 34 balls) had seemingly been steering her side towards victory and an Eliminator spot themselves, but her wicket sparked a collapse of four for 22 runs across 28 balls as their chase fell apart.

The Phoenix are now left waiting on the result of the final game of the group stage - Welsh Fire vs London Spirit - to be 100 per cent assured of their spot in the next round, with only a massive Spirit victory likely to deny them.

With the Superchargers winning the toss and inserting their opposition, the Phoenix got off to a rip-roaring start - even with Shafali Verma (8) and Amy Jones (24) falling inside the first 15 deliveries.

The pair, even in their short stays at the crease, smashed a combined eight boundaries in those opening exchanges, while Eve Jones would go on to find the fence six times herself in her half century, clearing it on three occasions.

Despite being set such a steep target, and losing top-scorer Jemimah Rodrigues (1) cheaply, Winfield-Hill had her side ahead of the rate at the halfway stage, well-placed on 79-1 after 50 balls.

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But the wheels began to fall off the innings at precisely that point, with only four boundaries scored for the remainder of the innings. Winfield-Hill and Laura Wolvaardt (36 off 26) were both dropped in quick succession, but would fail to cash in on those errors, gifting their wickets away soon after, and the middle order offered very little as the Superchargers slipped to a fourth-straight defeat.

MATCH HERO

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Phoenix's Eve Jones collects match hero for her 64 and huge catch over Northern Superchargers in Headingley.

Eve Jones was named Hero of the Match, with both her and Winfield-Hill superb opening the batting for their respective sides.

Phoenix 19-year-old fast bowler Issy Wong was also mightily impressive after enduring a rough patch of late in the tournament. Sporting a fresh haircut, she took 2-24 from her 20 balls, including the key wicket of Winfield-Hill - Eve Jones again stepping up taking a stunning catch.

WHAT A CATCH - IN THE DUGOUT?!

We've all seen a crowd catch in our time. Or, as is more often the case, seen them spilled in the stands. Well, here we had one taken in the dugout - by Amy Jones!

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Amy Jones catches teammate Eve Jones' big six in the Birmingham Phoenix's dugout in Headingley.

The Phoenix's fielding in the actual match was a bit of a mixed bag - Wong and Gwen Davies putting down both Winfield-Hill and Wolvaardt in the space of three deliveries - but Amy Jones, back in the dugout after her quickfire cameo, confidently clung on to a straight six from her team-mate and namesake Eve during her innings.

WHAT THEY SAID

Superchargers captain, Winfield-Hill: "We started the competition really well, but it's a real momentum game.

"I still think we were in a good position to win that game today, but when you get into a bit of a rut it's hard to shift that momentum.

"We managed to get up with the run-rate early, but it's difficult when you get two fresh batters at the crease."

Phoenix captain, Amy Jones: "We're very happy. I can't quite believe it. It feels like we've had four 'must win' games in a row.

"It was so pleasing to win that one, which got a bit nervy at times. Lauren came out and batted really well. When we saw the back of her, Laura Kimmince came out - There was no let up. But when she went, that was a big moment.

"It's the best lead up to the finals we could have asked for. We've worked out what works for us. There's been massive improvements from the first game to now."

WHAT'S NEXT?

It is the final round of group matches in The Hundred - with Welsh Fire facing off with London Spirit in Cardiff.

The Hundred Live

The Hundred Live

The knockout spots are pretty much already confirmed, with only the Spirit women standing a chance of sneaking in if they pull off a massive win over the Fire. But, there's still plenty of pride to play for!

We're live on Sky Sports The Hundred Main Event and Mix at 2.30pm for a 3pm start, followed by the men's clash at 6.30pm. The women's game is also available via a live stream on the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel.

Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports between now and August 21.

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