The Hundred is played under strict time constraints and there are rules and regulations in place to reprimand the slow-movers. Birmingham Phoenix Women had to pay the price for flunking the over-rate norms as they were asked to bring in an extra fielder inside the thirty-yard circle for missing the cut-off time for the last five deliveries.
Snatching the right to station the usual four fielders on the fence is punishment harsh enough in a 100-ball affair wherein the batters look to smash every ball into oblivion. And it proved so as London Spirit Women squeaked a three-wicket win with four balls to spare at Edgbaston. Birmingham Phoenix had learnt their lessons the hard way indeed.
This is tense! Phoenix have to bring another fielder inside the circle for missing the cut-off time for the last five, then Charlotte Dean is run out going for two!
Five needed from six balls 👀 #TheHundred— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) July 23, 2021
London Spirit lost wickets in a cluster towards the fag end of the chase, with the equation poised at 20 runs from 20 balls. Charlotte Dean and Amelia Carr further chipped the requisite down to six off seven balls when Katie Mack swooped like a gazelle from mid-wicket and unleashed a bullet throw to run out Dean as she rushed back for the brace.
However, Danielle Gibson calmed the nerves in the dressing room with a first-ball reverse-sweep to level the scores, and proceeded to pick Georgia Elwiss through backward square to seal the deal. You can't help but wonder that if Birmingham Pheonix had been mindful of the clock, they could have had the privilege to assign a boundary rider at deep square leg, precisely the region where the glory runs were hit. Nonetheless, their error in judgement would warn others to keep the over-rate in check at all times.