Capsey extend Invincibles' winning streak; Maqsood, Gordon headline Phoenix's first victory

Women's CricZone Staff
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Capsey extend Invincibles' winning streak; Maqsood, Gordon headline Phoenix's first victory

Alice Capsey, Abtaha Maqsood, Kirstie Gordon © Getty Images

In the first match at Lord's, the Spirit skipper Heather Knight, returning to the ground for the first time since the 2017 World Cup final, opted to bowl. Freya Davies got them off to a dream start as she cleaned up Georgia Davies on the second delivery of the innings. Grace Gibbs joined Capsey and took the attack to the Spirit. 

However, Gibb's stay was cut short by Deepti Sharma as the off-spinner trapped her on the pads. Charlotte Dean, too, fell shortly after. Meanwhile, the 16-year-old prodigy, at the other end, smashed the Spirit bowlers across the park with her skipper, Van Niekerk. 

Together, they added 80 runs from 58 balls, with Capsey bringing up her fifty in just 34 balls. Just when it seemed like the Invincibles are running away with the game, Naomi Dattani removed Capsey and Mady Villiers in quick succession. From 109/2, the Invincibles scrapped their way to 132/7 in 100 balls.

Chasing a par-total, Dattani and Deandra Dottin got them off to a sedate start against a fiery Shabnim Ismail. They scored only 19 runs in the powerplay and lost Dottin on the first delivery of the sixth set to a brilliant catch from Gibbs. With Dattani, Sharma, Davies and Chloe Tryon getting out at regular intervals, Knight had to wage a lone battle to keep the chase alive. She made a valiant 40 from 29 balls, building a partnership with Danielle Gibson. Knight eventually got out to her counterpart Van Niekerk, and the Spirit fell short by 15 runs. 

In their first home game, the Originals were asked to bowl by Phoenix skipper Amy Jones. Erin Burns opened the batting with Shafali Verma and smashed a few boundaries in her short stint before she got out to Sophie Ecclestone. 

Verma and Emily Arlott fell one after another, and the responsibility fell on the Jones-duo to revive the innings. Amy and Evelyn Jones added 32 runs together before the latter was dismissed by Emma Lamb for a 13-ball seven. Amy was at her best, smashing 31 runs from 17 balls, but her England teammate Ecclestone got the better of her. A late partnership from Gwenan Davies and Issy Wong helped them finish with 113/9 in 100 balls. Davies made 20 runs from 17 balls, while Wong scored ten from 13.

Chasing less than six runs per over, the Originals lost Lamb and Lizelle Lee early to Gordon. Wong got rid of Georgie Boyce, thanks to a brilliant running catch from Gordon. With Maqsood deceiving Mignon du Preez, the Originals were reduced to 35/4.

Meanwhile, India T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur tried to build a partnership with Eleanor Threlkeld. With Kaur leading the way, they added 42 runs in 39 balls. The dup kept the scorecard moving with singles and doubles, and Kaur picked up the occasional boundaries. Maqsood, yet again, came to the rescue for the Phoenix, dismissing Threlkeld. Gordon removed Ecclestone shortly after.

With 32 runs required from the last ten balls, Kate Cross tried to reverse tap Georgia Elwiss and got stumped by Amy. Despite Kaur's fighting 49 from 47 balls, the Phoenix managed to finish with 93/8 in 100 balls. Gordon was the pick of the bowler, taking three wickets for 14 runs. 

Brief Scores:

Oval Invincibles: 132/7 in 100 balls (Alice Capsey 59, Dattani 2/23) beat London Spirit: 117/7 in 100 balls (Heather Knight 40, Dane van Niekerk 3/30) by 15 runs. 

Birmingham Phoenix: 113/9 in 100 balls (Amy Jones 31, Sophie Ecclestone 2/14) beat Manchester Originals: 93/8 in 100 balls (Harmanpreet Kaur 49, Kirstie Gordon 3/14) by 21 runs.