Whirldwind Wyatt continues to find ways to chase down totals as Brave make it three in three

Shajin Mohanan S
30 Jul 2021
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Whirldwind Wyatt continues to find ways to chase down totals as Brave make it three in three

Danielle Wyatt in action © Getty Images

Danielle Wyatt loves to chase totals down in T20 cricket and the stylish right-hander didn't want the arrival of a new format in the form of The Hundred to stop her from repeating her heroics. On the back of a whirlwind knock of unbeaten 69 off 40 balls that started as a small breeze before gathering pace to become a full storm, Southern Brave chased down a tricky target against Birmingham Phoenix in a windy Southampton on Friday (July 30) to continue their unbeaten run in the tournament. Brave now have three wins from as many matches.

In the chase, Brave started with an early hiccup with Smriti Mandhana getting out cheaply. The southpaw survived a close LBW call against Issy Wong before hitting one against the wind and was caught at deep mid-wicket off Erin Burns just for five.

However, the arrival of Sophia Dunkley at the crease instantly rejuvenated the chase as she hit Burns for a four through the backward square-leg to start the innings. Dunkley smashed three more boundaries in the power play with Wyatt taking her time at the other end.

Post the power play, Wyatt cut loose with her first boundary coming in trademark fashion through extra-cover. Dunkley smashed two more fours of the bowling off Emily Arlott with some stunning display of stroke making as she raced to 41 off 23. Just when it looked like the duo would run away with the game, disaster struck for Brave with Dunkley getting run out at the non-striking end as the ball deflected of the bowler Abtaha Maqsood’s hand onto the stumps.

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From there, Phoenix needed some quick wickets but Wyatt was settled by then and she opened up to prevent the opposition from getting consecutive wickets. The England opener launched Wong over cover for a six before sweeping Maqsood for another maximum. She then took on Kirstie Gordon to hit a couple of boundaries to reduce the target to run-a-ball from the last 30 balls.

Soon Wyatt brought up her fifty from 33 balls before clearing long-off for another six of the bowling off Georgia Elwiss. Stafanie Taylor also joined the party with a couple of strong hits and the duo took down Burns’ off-spin leaving only six runs to get from the last 20 balls. Wyatt wasn't going let go off the opportunity to finish the game in style as she carted Wong for another six to romp home with 18 balls to spare.

Earlier, put into bat, Phoenix opener Evelyn Jones kept most of the strike in the first four sets of five while striking three boundaries from the 14 balls she faced. In the final set of the power play, Shafali Verma took on Charlotte Taylor down the ground twice to take the score to 40 without any loss.

Meanwhile, Evelyn went after Stafanie at the other end to bring up the fifty-run stand in 34 balls. Even though Verma struggled to up the ante against the spinners, the pair was looking threatening when leg-spin of Amanda-Jade Wellington came to the rescue of Brave.

In her second set, Wellington first struck Verma in front of the stumps while the batter tried to whip it to the leg side and Anya Shrubsole’s decision to persist with her for another set paid dividends as Evelyn was bowled for 33 off 29 balls.

That brought skipper Amy Jones and Katie Mack together and they were innovative with their shot making and ran hard between the wickets to take Phoenix back to the ascendancy. Amy moved around the crease to exploit the gaps in the field, she started with pulling Fi Morris’ short deliveries to the leg-side. At the other end, Mack took on Stafanie, hitting the off-spinner down the ground twice.

In the 89th ball, Amy moved outside the off stump and swept Lauren Bell for a four as Phoenix reached 131 at the end of that set. In the next set bowled by Shrubsole, Mack was eventually run out ending their vigil between the wickets and in the next ball Burns was trapped in front of the wicket. Only nine runs came in the last two sets and Phoenix eventually finished their innings on 140 for four from 100 balls.

For Brave, Wellington finished with impressive figures of two for 16 from her 20 deliveries while Bell given away only 16 runs in her complete set of fives.

Brief Scores: Birmingham Phoenix 140/4 in 100 balls (Amy Jones 42*, Evelyn Jones 33; Amanda-Jade Wellington 2/16) lost to Southern Brave 141/2 in 82 balls (Danielle Wyatt 69*, Sophia Dunkley 41) by 8 wickets. POTM: Danielle Wyatt