Trent Rockets kept their slim hopes of a Hundred play-off place alive with a three-run win over bottom side Birmingham Phoenix at Trent Bridge.
Bryony Smith starred with both bat and ball for the Rockets, hitting 64 off 40 balls as they posted 134-6 and then just seven of the 11 runs required by Phoenix from the final set of five deliveries.
The Rockets are now on seven points from seven games but will be out of contention for a top-three spot if the Welsh Fire, currently third on nine points, pick up a point from their last two games, starting against the London Spirit this Sunday.
Trent Rockets – 134-6 from 100 balls: Bryony Smith (64 in 40); Emily Arlott (3-15), Katie Levick (2-30)
Birmingham Phoenix – 131-4 from 100 balls: Amy Jones (46 no off 30); Kirstie Gordon (1-20), Alana King (1-23)
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The top two Southern Brave and Northern Superchargers have already secured play-off spots and only the Rockets and defending champions Oval Invincibles can stop the Fire from completing the top three.
The Invincibles play the Braves in the second women’s game on Saturday knowing only a win will keep them in the play-off chase.
Smith’s fifty helped the Rockets to 71-1 from 40 balls but they could only manage 63-5 from the next 60 as Phoenix fast bowler Emily Arlott took three wickets – including bowling Nat Sciver-Brunt for 18 – and leg-spinner Katie Levick claimed two.
Amy Jones (46 no off 30) was chasing Phoenix, slamming Alexa Stonehouse for three fours in a row in the penultimate set of five, while Sterre Kalis (7no) then pushed Smith through the covers to break the required to seven from four balls. .
But Smith allowed just three runs from that point as the Phoenix finished 131-4 and fell to their sixth loss in seven games, with their only point so far this season coming in a reverse washout. fixture against the Rockets.
The Rockets next take on the Invincibles at The Kia Oval on Monday – where both teams could be out of the play-off race – while the Phoenix wrap up their campaign at home against the Spirit on Thursday.
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