Women’s Hundred Final

Women’s Hundred Final

Invincibles are yet again Invincible

Discussing history in a competition like the Hundred in its second season is difficult. Still, the Oval Invincibles made that possible as their women lifted the trophy for the second time in a repeat of last year’s final. The outcome was the same: Oval Invincibles beat Southern Brave by five wickets with six balls to spare.
The Invincibles lost just one group game on the road to Lord’s against Southern Brave, their opponents today. That isn’t to say the South London side have had it all their way this year. With four world-class overseas players and only three spaces in the starting line-up, Dane van Niekerk, their inspirational captain, was benched for several games, including the final. Suzie Bates is a decent skipper to come off the bench and lead the side.
Having lost the toss, Invincibles would have to set the tone in the field, which they did brilliantly. Keeping the dangerous Smriti Mandhana and Danni Wyatt quiet in the powerplay was a must, and they did that by conceding just 30 runs; 13 of those coming from Sophie Smale set at the end of the first 25 balls.
If the ground fielding was tight, the catching was excellent from Invincibles as Shabnim Ismail and Smale helped onto sharp chances; Ismail had some worth to do to follow a looped-up chance from Wyatt and clung on to a diving catch. Smale’s was far more straightforward as Mandhana hit it straight back at the bowler, but it was still crucial in Smale’s breakout year, given the situation.
Tahlia McGrath and Sophia Dunkley kept Southern Brave in the contest with a partnership of 44 from 36 balls. However, they still needed to up the anti, and it was Eva Gray, a handy bowler who used changes of pace to her advantage. It looked as if Brave had got the better of her set with Dunkley hitting the first ball for four and then McGrath toward the back end found the boundary, only for Gray to bowl the Australian for 20.
Alice Capsey, who is having another fantastic season, had Dunkley caught behind for 26 and then two balls later, Georgia Adams found Marizanne Kapp for a duck. After that, things felt Invincibles’ favour, and it felt inevitable they would be lifting the trophy as the restricted Brave to 101 for seven.
It would take early wickets for the match to become a contest again. Anya Shrubsole had Lauren Winfield-Hill stumped for five, and Amanda-Jade Wellington bowled Suzie Bates after the ball caught the heel of the batter and the ball rebounded onto the stumps.
Capsey was her usual busy self and hit the only six of the game straight back down the ground in a brutal assault of Freya Kemp’s bowling that saw 14 runs plundered in three balls.
With Kapp in the middle, it never felt like any other result was possible, and with the calmness and presence she brings, she set about ensuring her side did not falter. She was happy for Capsey to be the aggressor early on, and with the support of Mady Villers and Emily Windsor, the chase was relatively easy against a very good Southern Brave side whose dip in form happened at the worst time.


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