Worcestershire CCC pace duo Dillon Pennington and Pat Brown played key roles as Birmingham Phoenix overcame Trent Rockets by 16 runs in The Hundred to go top of the table.
Making his debut in the competition, Pennington picked up two massive scalps in Alex Hales and Dawid Malan on his way to superb figures of 2-11 from 15 balls.
Brown showed the qualities that helped the Rapids to Vitality Blast glory in 2018 and ended with 3-27 from his 20 deliveries.
Former England captain, Nasser Hussain, commentating for Sky Sports, described his performance as a ‘masterclass in death bowling, an exceptional performance.”
The pair’s performance enabled the Phoenix to overcome the absence of Rapids captain Moeen Ali who is back on England Test duty against India at Lord’s.
Brown said afterwards: “It’s been a tough few years, battling with back injuries, and this is probably the first time since 2018 that I’ve bowled without pain which is something in itself regardless of performance.
“I’m just enjoying being out there and being able to bowl as best as I can without feeling anything is holding me back.
“It was an unbelievable atmosphere and great to get the win. It’s been like that around the country, and fantastic to be part of this competition.
“You go out there and back yourself and deliver your skills as best as you can.”
Pennington made the early breakthroughs when he bowled Hales for 13 and, in the same set of five balls, had Malan (0) caught behind.
He delivered ten dot balls in a performance reminiscent to those for the Rapids in the Vitality Blast.
Brown then took centre stage with the ball with his armoury of different deliveries.
He had D’Arcy Short (5) caught at deep mid-wicket off a leading edge, and then Rashid Khan (2) sliced into the hands of deep point.
Brown made sure of victory for the Phoenix when he accounted for Steven Mullaney (49), with Tom Helm pulling off a superb catch at deep mid-wicket.
The Phoenix totalled 166-6 thanks to 50 from Moeen’s replacement as captain, Liam Livingstone, and restricted the Rockets to 150-9 to chalk up a fifth win in seven games.