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Shabnim Ismail hat-trick off last three balls earns Welsh Fire dramatic Edgbaston win

10 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Shabnim Ismail completes her hat-trick to win the game

Shabnim Ismail bowled Welsh Fire to a dramatic Hundred victory with a hat-trick from the last three balls of the innings as Birmingham Phoenix were beaten by three runs at Edgbaston.

The resurgence of Fire continues after Ismail’s ice-cool display prevented the home side scoring any of the four runs they needed to win from the last three balls.

The South Africa seamer finished with three for 31 as Phoenix, chasing 137 for seven, ended on 134 for four to suffer a heartbreaking defeat.

Fire captain Tammy Beaumont led the way with the bat for her side with a stylish 59 off 40 balls but Phoenix looked in command of the chase while Tess Flintoff (55) and Amy Jones (48 not out) were adding 93 in 67 balls.

But Ismail’s brilliant hat-trick leaves the Birmingham side with a lot of work to do to climb into the qualification race after a poor start to the campaign which has brought three defeats and a washout, while the unbeaten Fire have now won three out of four.

Break through

Phoenix chose to bowl but took 48 balls to break through as openers Beaumont and Hayley Matthews added 72 before the latter cut Hannah Baker to point to depart for a run-a-ball 23.

Beaumont batted imperiously, dancing down the track to lift a straight six off Katie Levick on the way to a 36-ball half-century.

As well as the six, the Fire skipper struck nine fours but perished in pursuit of a 10th which she lifted Flintoff to deep mid-wicket where Erin Burns took a fine catch, stooping low to her right.

As Phoenix began to reel in the scoring rate, Laura Harris fell lbw for one, reverse-sweeping Emily Arlott. Sophie Dunkley (25) stoked the Fire again with six over mid-wicket off Arlott but Phoenix built pressure and caught well in the closing sets.

Needing to pull off the sixth biggest chase in Women’s Hundred history, Phoenix were positively launched by Sophie Devine’s 29 off 19 balls.

Her charge was ended by Alex Griffiths’ first ball, a perfect, inswinging yorker, but Jones was fluent from the moment she reached the crease.

Flintoff and Jones took their side into the last 20 balls with 27 needed but boundaries were few and Griffiths bowled beautifully to start tilting the pressure back on the home side.

It came down to nine needed from the last five balls, delivered by Ismail.

A glorious cover-driven four for Flintoff brought it down to four from three, but Ismail bowled the opener next ball, had Burns caught at short third man and then bowled Issy Wong to seal the most memorable of wins.

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