You could be forgiven for thinking that the Hundred – who were once the snot-nosed kids from Oval – are all grown up. Not only did they survive the daunting task of fielding a team of 12 against the might of Manchester Originals, they did it on the back of a stunning comeback from a half-time deficit.
For the first time in the series, the Oval Invincibles (played by the Hamilton Steelers) beat the Manchester Originals (played by the NW Tigers). The Steelers were leading by 9 runs at the end of 6 innings, but the Tigers came back to win it in the 7th.
The night before the opening match, Manchester Originals and the Hundred made their way to a hotel in Seoul to get ready for the first game. While getting ready for the match, some of the players started talking about how the Hundred scored more goals than them in their previous two games. Some of the players started arguing about who scored the most goals for the Hundred. The others, on the other hand, were all having a good time.
|Lee 42 (39), Farrant 3-25, Manchester Originals 135-6 (100 balls).|
|Van Niekerk 56*, Cross 3-28, Oval Invincibles 139-5 (98 balls).|
|With two balls left, the Invincibles triumphed by five wickets.|
In 100 words, the Hundred
The Oval Invincibles beat Manchester Originals in an exciting match at The Oval, kicking off the women’s Hundred with a bang.
The Invincibles were 36-4 in their chase of 136 when Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp of South Africa teamed for a 73-run combination.
Ellie Threkeld beautifully stumped Kapp for 38, but skipper Van Niekerk struck 56 not out to lead her side to victory.
With two balls left, she struck Kate Cross for four to clinch the victory, prompting wild celebrations from the young London audience, which is thought to be a record for a domestic women’s professional match.
The tournament had hoped for an opening-night drama.
Could the much-debated Hundred have gotten off to a better start? In all likelihood, no.
There were approximately 7,400 people in attendance, many of them were small children and families, and there were people jumping in the aisles after the local team won.
The night started with spectacular pyrotechnics, followed by DJs and music performances, but towards the end of the night, everyone at The Oval was interested on cricket, which was shown live on Two.
Van Niekerk, who was critically dropped twice, performed well and showed her 186-game international experience.
Mady Villiers blasted England teammate Sophie Ecclestone for six over long on as the Invincibles needed 16 from the final ten balls.
Van Niekerk batted for 42 balls, scoring runs all over the wicket, with her lone six coming from a strong scoop off Hartley over mid-wicket.
At the start of the last set of five balls, she struck Kate Cross for four, before Van Niekerk sealed the victory with an edge past the wicketkeeper.
Given the circumstances, Manchester’s Alex Hartley was smiling even in loss.
“I have never been more proud of a women’s cricket game,” she remarked, neatly summarizing the evening.
“What a night,” said Cross, the captain of the Originals. “With that kind of environment, I don’t believe we can be too discouraged after we leave the field. We’re obviously sad that we didn’t make it across the finish line, but what a night!”
On Thursday, the same teams will compete in the men’s tournament, which will also be held at The Oval.
Becky Hill, a singer-songwriter, performed during the intermission between innings.
Manchester’s win was lost by dropped balls.
In reality, Manchester should have been the first team to triumph in cricket’s newest format.
Lizelle Lee top-scored with 42 while batting first, and Cross bowled out the Invincibles’ top three – Georgia Adams, Alice Capsey, and Grace Gibbs – in the first over of the reply.
The Originals, on the other hand, were costed by dropped catches.
Harmanpreet Kaur, who had previously struck a fine 29, wasted a simple opportunity to remove Van Niekerk for 28 at mid-off, and Kapp was put down on 22 by Mignon du Preez on the boundary, with the ball also going for six, compounding Manchester’s misery.
There was still time for Hartley to bring down Van Niekerk, who was currently on 44, with 25 required from 15 balls. When fielding near the leg-side boundary, she fumbled a mis-hit sweep.
The Invincibles (green line) were behind their opponents’ score for most of their innings after losing early wickets until a strong finish.
For those of you who didn’t read it here, I’m doing a blog on the first game of the season between the two teams. I’m going to do a recap of the game, the details, and how it played out. I’m also going to add a bunch of trivia.. Read more about the hundred oval invincibles fixtures and let us know what you think.
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