In a breathtaking display of skill and determination, Welsh Fire’s Shabnim Ismail secured a stunning victory against Birmingham Phoenix at Edgbaston with a hat-trick off the final three balls.

This win adds to Welsh Fire’s remarkable comeback in The Hundred Tournament, contrasting their winless run from the previous season.

The South African seamer showcased her prowess with a remarkable 3-31, dealing a blow to Birmingham Phoenix who fell just short at 134-4 while chasing 138 for victory.

Fire’s captain, Tammy Beaumont, dazzled with a stylish 59 off 40 balls, initially putting them in control, but the dynamic partnership between Tess Flintoff (55) and Amy Jones (48 not out) briefly threatened.

Ismail’s stunning hat-trick, however, leaves Birmingham with a daunting task to qualify after a shaky start of three losses and a washout, while Welsh Fire remains unbeaten with three wins out of four.

With 9 needed from the last 5 balls to chase 138, Birmingham Phoenix’s Tess Flintoff drove the second ball for a crucial four through extra cover, narrowing the gap to 4 runs off 3 deliveries. Shabnim Ismail then shattered Flintoff’s solid innings (55 off 45 balls) with a precise full delivery, inducing a missed whip across the line.

The next ball saw Erin Burns (0) caught at short third man, the off-side attempt resulting in a thick outside edge safely clasped by the fielder.

Ismail’s brilliance continued as she sealed a sensational hat-trick, clinching a victory for Welsh Fire. Issy Wong (0) fell to Ismail’s swift length ball, attempting to carve it through the off side, but the delivery evaded her completely, resulting in a clean dismissal.

“I’m still getting over that [hat-trick]. Very happy to get the Fire over the line today. I always believe as a bowler there is a bounce-backability. Beaumont asked me if I wanted to bowl the last five or the one before. I was happy to defend even five,” said Shabnam to ESPNcricinfo after receiving the player of the match accolade.

With three victories and a single match ending in no result, Welsh Fire currently holds the leading position on the Women’s Hundred points table after four games

Last Updated on August 11, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter