Marizanne mayhem at Lord’s as Oval Invincibles become first-ever The Hundred champions

Oval Invincibles inaugural The Hundred champions © Getty Images

An outstanding all-round display by Marizanne Kapp led Oval Invincibles to a dominating win in the final of the inaugural season of The Hundred at the Lord’s on Saturday (August 21). The side that had to take a hard route towards the final at the home of cricket prevailed in the ultimate match as they defended a below-par score against Southern Brave to etch their name in history.

Playing at less than five miles away from where the tournament began, exactly a month ago, Brave captain Anya Shrubsole won the toss and decided to bowl first with the overcast conditions. Both sides were unchanged for the ultimate clash as Brave went with a side that thumped Invincibles by 30 runs in Southampton and Invincibles chose the playing XI that defended a small total against Birmingham Phoenix in the Eliminator.

Invincibles’ power play woes continued as they managed to score only 21 runs out of it and also lost the opener Georgia Adams to a slower delivery from Shrubsole as Danielle Wyatt took a straightforward catch at the deep mid-wicket. Invincibles captain Dane van Niekerk then found a partner in Fran Wilson as the pair started to rebuild the innings. Van Niekerk showed her class as she hit multiple off-side drives to keep the scoreboard ticking and Wilson was given a life when first Maia Boucher and later Sophia Dunkley dropped a catch at deep square leg.

At the half-way stage, Invincibles were 52 for one as Wilson and Van Niekerk brought their partnership of fifty runs off 40 balls. Immediately after the strategic timeout, Wilson tried a slog sweep off Wellington but found Wyatt at deep mid-wicket as Brave broke the partnership. Four balls later van Niekerk top-edged to mid-off as she misjudged a slower ball from Lauren Bell.

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However, that united Kapp and Alice Capsey, the batting stars of the Eliminator, and they didn’t disappoint the Oval side as they added 34 runs off just 21 balls. Kapp scored quickfire 26 runs off just 14 balls before she was caught at backward-point by Wellington. Invincibles ended their batting inning at 121 for six at the end of the stipulated 100 balls.

Brave, the side that lost only one match during the regular season, were blown away by Kapp’s fiery spell of ten consecutive deliveries in the  first two sets.  She removed the big-hitting Wyatt with a lovely outswinger as the batted edged it to wicket-keeper Sarah Bryce, who took the catch at shin height. Upon Dunkley’s arrival, van Niekerk posted herself at second slip and the decision was immediately paid off as Dunkley hit one straight to her at good height. With her 10th ball of the innings, Kapp sent the other opener Gaby Lewis back as well with Capsey taking an easy catch at short fine leg.

By the end of the power play, Brave were 11 for three with two of their highest run scorers of the competition back in the dugout. Invincibles were quick in the field as highlighted by Wilson’s direct hit from backward-point to see the end of Bouchier on seven. Australian recruit Amanda-Jade Wellington was forced to play a release shot by Shabnim Ismail but all she managed was to find Capsey at short mid-wicket. Stafanie Taylor put out a brave resistance but she was dismissed by van Niekerk’s googly as she was stumped for 18.

The match was long gone and Brave struggled throughout their innings and could not build a single partnership that could allow them to chase down the total. Four of the Brave batters were dismissed for a duck. It was the fitting end to the one-sided match as Kapp returned to castle Bell as Invincibles ran away with the trophy in the first edition of the tournament.

Brief Score: Oval Invincibles 121/6 in 100 Balls (Dane van Niekerk 26, Marizanne Kapp 26; Anya Shrubsole 2/16) beat Southern Brave 73 all out  in 100 balls (Fritha Morris 23, Stafanie Taylor 18; Marizanne Kapp 4/9) by 48 runs

 

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