The Hundred: Birmingham Phoenix beats Trent Rockets in must-win game in women's competition.

By Kal SajadBBC Sport
Women's Hundred, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Trent Rockets 125-7 (100 balls): Freeborn 30 (23); Gordon 3-26
Birmingham Phoenix 129-7 (94 balls): Burns 38 (26), Arlott 22 (14); Johnson 3-11
Phoenix win by three wickets
Scorecard; Table

Birmingham Phoenix pulled off a brilliant comeback victory over local rivals Trent Rockets to keep their hopes of making it out of the women's Hundred group stages alive.

At 71-6, chasing 126 in the must-win game, Phoenix were heading for elimination before Erin Burns (38 off 26) and Emily Arlott (22* off 14) led the recovery.

With seven needed from 13 balls, Burns fell to Sammy-Jo Johnson - the leading wicket-taker of the women's Hundred with 15 dismissals.

But Arlott kept her cool, hitting Johnson for consecutive boundaries to see her side over the line with six balls remaining.

Earlier, spinner Kirstie Gordon took 3-26 as Phoenix limited Rockets to 125-6, with Abi Freeborn scoring 30 off 23 balls.

The win takes Phoenix to fifth in the table, a point behind fourth-placed Rockets.

With leaders Southern Brave having already booked their place in the final, both sides are still in contention to make it to through to the eliminator tie between the second and third-placed teams.

Phoenix fight on

How much difference just four days in The Hundred can make.

On Monday morning, Phoenix were rooted to the bottom of the table with just one win from five matches.

They then thrashed Welsh Fire by 10 wickets, but were all-but eliminated once again as the tie with Rockets headed to the final stages.

At one point, the win predictor gave Phoenix just a 13% chance of winning, but Burns and Arlott had other ideas.

There was a clear turning point - balls 67 and 68 - when Burns hit England all-rounder and current MVP leader Nat Sciver for back-to-back boundaries, and the equation suddenly became an achievable 39 from 32 balls.

Phoenix then found the boundary from each set of five which followed to pull off the unlikely win.

Making it out of the group stages is still a big ask but, if they do, the 48 runs shared by Burns and Arlott could turn out to be the most important partnership in Pheonix's tournament.

Brunt v Verma - a battle for the ages?

Most sports boast an iconic rivalry between two of its stars.

When we look back at the summer of 2021, we didn't get the Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury blockbuster boxing bout but what we did get was a heated battle between 17-year-old Shafali Verma and England seamer Katherine Brunt, 16 years her senior.

When their two respective nations met in a Test in June, opener Verma was the star of the show with 159 runs.

Brunt came firing back by dismissing the right-hander four times in seven innings - including a slower-ball yorker when Phoenix hosted Rockets earlier this month.

Well, you can now make that five times in the past eight innings. And it was the slower ball again which did the trick.

A visibly pumped-up Brunt reeled Verma in with two short balls before one which came out of the back of the hand and the batter clubbed down the throat of deep mid-wicket.

"Yes, yes, yes," Brunt mouthed, with an accompanying clenched fist as a smiling Verma (16 off nine balls) made her walk back to the dugout.

Verma's international team-mate Shikha Pandey, perhaps surprisingly, was a fan of Brunt's reaction…

We're not sure whether the two will face each other again this summer, so is that the end of the Brunt v Verma rivalry? Let's hope not.

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