Record crowd sees Oval Invincibles win Women’s Hundred in style at Lord’s

17,116 people watched the Oval Invincibles emerge as the first-ever Hundred Women’s champions after defeating the Southern Brave by 48 runs in front of a record crowd at Lord’s. 

A new domestic record crowd for women’s cricket saw the clinical Invincibles successfully defend 121 as Marizanne Kapp changed the game with a devastating opening spell. 

The South African – who had the honour of bowling the first ball in cricket’s newest format exactly a month ago – took three early wickets to help reduce the group-stage table-toppers to 2-3.

And that proved a setback too large for Brave to overcome, with the bowlers backing up the earlier efforts of Dane van Niekerk (26), Fran Wilson (25) and Kapp (26) with the bat.

Anya Shrubsole struck early dismissing Georgia Adams after 11 balls having won the toss and chosen to bowl. 

Wilson came out to bat and, having struggled in the tournament so far, was given a second chance through a dropped catch by Sophia Dunkley in the deep before crashing the next ball from Lauren Bell for four, as the Invincibles reached 50 from 50 balls. 

Danni Wyatt was again the safe pair of hands as Wilson had to depart for a tournament-high 25 off the bowling of Amanda-Jade Wellington. 

Van Niekerk followed shortly after chopping to mid-off which brought out Alice Capsey. 

Capsey was living on the edge just as a 17-year-old should, putting herself in danger as she set off for a single while Kapp stayed in her crease. 

The next ball was sent for four but she couldn’t survive for much longer a slower ball from Lauren Bell deceiving her, the teenager departing for 18 off 12 balls. 

As the Invincibles pushed the score on, Kapp was caught going for another boundary, but the Invincibles had already matched Friday’s total of 114 – which was enough for them to reach the Lord’s final by winning the Eliminator.

Hillingdon Times: Marizanne Kapp celebrates one of her four wickets as she finished with figures of 4-9 to bowl the Invincibles to victoryMarizanne Kapp celebrates one of her four wickets as she finished with figures of 4-9 to bowl the Invincibles to victory

Off the final ball of the over Maia Bouchier, who had twice dropped chances, finally stuck a catch to dismiss Mady Villiers as the Invincibles made 121-6.

Kapp began that defence with a wide, but any thoughts of nerves could only be to deceive her opponents as her third legal delivery just missed the bat.

The South African made sure next time as the dangerous Wyatt was forced to depart for a duck with Sarah Bryce snaffling up the ball behind the stumps, another edge saw Dunkley sent back to the hutch, again for nought. 

West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor got off the mark with a single to put Gaby Lewis on strike, but she did not stay for long, sending a top edge to short fine leg as Kapp ended her spell of ten with three wickets for the cost of just two runs. 

Bouchier was herself dropped on four but was then unluckily run out, with Amanda-Jade Wellington following three balls later as the Brave slipped to 11-5.

Hillingdon Times: Alice Capsey was involved with bat, ball and in the field as the 17-year-old continued her impressive display in the tournamentAlice Capsey was involved with bat, ball and in the field as the 17-year-old continued her impressive display in the tournament

Capsey then got in on the fun to get the crucial wicket of Shrubsole, who could not save her team this time, falling for one. 

With the Brave needing 101 from 50 balls, Fi Morris and Taylor looked to at least give a good account of a team that had been pre-match favourites. 

Taylor would last only seven more balls, charging down the wicket and missing a ball from Van Niekerk as Bryce swiped off her bails. 

Tara Norris came out to join Morris and the pair played as well as they could given the circumstances but the Invincibles were never far from taking a wicket, Norris bowled by Capsey for 11 with Morris run out the next ball. 

Kapp would seal the win with the final wicket of Bell as the Oval Invincibles lived up to their name and claimed the golden prize. 

Hillingdon Times | News