In the end, it was Chris Benjamin’s 16-ball 37 that took the Phoenix over the line with six balls to spare.
The game between Oval Invincibles and Birmingham Phoenix turned out to be a high-scoring affair. After loads of twists and turns, it was Phoenix, who won the match by six wickets and moved atop the points table. The Invincibles slip to the third spot on the table.
Colin Ingram comes to the party
After batting first, the Invincibles lost Will Jacks early but made a comeback through Jason Roy and Colin Ingram’s 45-run stand off 27 balls. Benny Howell got the prized wicket of Roy, who notched 38 runs off 22 balls with the help of five scorching fours and one big six.
However, Ingram went on to stay unbeaten on 81 runs off 43 balls with eight fours and four sixes. Skipper Sam Billings carried on with his impressive form and notched a 17-ball 24. For the Phoenix, Tom Helm was the most successful with a couple of scalps.
The Phoenix started their run-chase in a resounding manner as Finn Allen’s nine-ball 23 set the tone for them. Liam Livingstone perished as well. But Will Smeed and Moeen Ali’s 55-run stand off 30 balls put the Phoenix back on the driver’s seat another time.
Even as Smeed scored 45 with two fours and three sixes, Moeen churned out 49 with three fours and four sixes. In the end, it was Chris Benjamin’s 16-ball 37 that took the Phoenix over the line with six balls to spare.
It was fantastic to be out there, says Chris Benjamin
After the win, Moeen, the Phoenix skipper, was over the moon and lauded his teammates. Benjamin was also happy on being able to finish the game on a high.
“It was a really good pitch to bat on and I just wanted the guys to take confidence from the previous game. We have found some gems; Benjy looks like a proper finisher. I enjoyed myself, and we wanted to keep up the tempo because there was some rain, and we knew Duckworth-Lewis could be a factor. I want the guys to express themselves, if they are going well, just keep it going,” Ali said.
“It was fantastic to be out there. Always special to be in front of this crowd, full house and a good win. It has been very exciting. Obviously, Finn and Will at the start and Moeen in the middle set it up for me. We don’t really look at the table, we know we have won only two games before today, so we are just focusing on taking it game by game and the rest will take care of itself,” Benjamin said.
Here’s how the netizens reacted to Birmingham Phoenix’s win
Moeen saw Chris Benjamin smash spin in a Warks IIs game a couple of months ago and told Birmingham Phoenix to sign him up for The Hundred. Now the two of them have just taken down Sunil Narine, the greatest spinner in T20 history, together. That’s pretty cool#TheHundred
— Ben Gardner (@Ben_Wisden) August 4, 2021
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) August 4, 2021
— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) August 4, 2021
— The Hundred (@thehundred) August 4, 2021
Chris Benjamin so far in #TheHundred :
24(15)* vs London Spirit
37(16)* vs Oval Invincibles
Both time won the game for his team!
What A Superstar!!
— Paridhi Srivastava 7🏏 (@BeingKohlicious) August 4, 2021
Chris Benjamin, what a freakish player.
— Prashanth S (@ps_it_is) August 4, 2021
— Jay (@jaygallagher11) August 4, 2021
Chris Benjamin… Balls of steel. 🔥 Never heard of him before @thehundred!
— Fabian Cowdrey (@fkcowdrey) August 4, 2021
It was na incredible run chase in #TheHundred. Chris Benjamin is special, special, special.
— Febin Thomas (@febinvthomas) August 4, 2021
There’s something special about Benjamins from South Africa!
They steal cricket lovers’ heart since their debut! ❤️
Chris Benjamin is my new favourite player.
— Paridhi Srivastava 7🏏 (@BeingKohlicious) August 5, 2021