Spectacular batting performances from Paul Stirling and Ross Whiteley helped Southern Brave win the inaugural Hundred Men’s title on Saturday by defeating Birmingham Phoenix by 32 runs in the final at Lord’s. Stirling’s 61 off 36 deliveries helped Brave get off to a fantastic start, while Whiteley, batting at No. 6, hammered a 19-ball 44 not out to help his side reach 168/5.

Phoenix stayed in the chase thanks to Liam Livingstone’s 46 off 19 and skipper Moeen Ali’s measured 36, but once they left, the lower order couldn’t keep up with the growing required rate, and Brave cruised to victory.

The Phoenix chase was in disarray from the start, as they lost their openers David Bedingham and Will Smeed for pennies on the dollar and only managed 14 runs off the first 20 balls. Livingstone, on the other hand, spearheaded his team’s attack, scoring sixes and fours at will while Ali kept a close eye on the opposite end. Both batsmen got fortuitous breaks, and the unlucky bowler – Jake Lintott – was hit for two fours and a six by Livingstone after bowling 10 balls straight.

Chris Jordan had a costly start as well, but a direct smash from David from the boundary rope boosted Brave as Livingstone was bowled out for just four runs.

Before falling to Livingstone, Tim David smashed a pair of sixes to get Brave over the 100-run mark. Whiteley was next up, and he wasted little time in getting started, hitting two fours off the legspinner. Pat Brown and Dillon Pennington took the brunt of Whiteley’s attack, with the latter scoring four fours and as many sixes to help Brave reach their target.