The 2nd edition of The Hundred is done and dusted, the season saw Oval Invincible win the title, again which had them stand upto everyone’s expectations of defending their title and making it to the headlines as champions in back-to-back seasons.
Oval Invincibles weren’t at their best with the ball in their first couple of games, but batting being an equally good asset for the side helped them see off trouble as they chase down a total of 146 for the loss of a wicket in their opener against Northern Supercharges, but lost to Southern Brave by 12 runs chasing 154. The side then got their bowling in place and carried on their momentum registering wins against Trent Rockets chasing 112, against Birmingham Phoenix chasing 106 and against London Spirit chasing a target of 80.
Oval Invincible’s last league stage game had them put on a massive total of 163/2 in 100 balls and successfully restricted the Manchester Originals from getting anywhere close it to as the latter closed out on 132-6. With batting never really being an area of concern and the bowling attack having just clicked together as a whole, the Oval Invincible well in time were finals ready.
The big stage of the final witnessed a re-match up from the previous season’s final with Oval Invincible and Southern Brave locking horns. Both sides finished their league stage games with 5 wins and a defeat and with Oval Invincibles finishing at the top of the table with a better net run rate qualified to the finals, while Southern Brave made their way to the finals, after surviving a near escape in the eliminator against Trent Rockets.
Oval Invincibles in the inaugural edition (previous year) handed a huge disappointment to the Southern Brave in the finals and the Brave had their revenge with a win against Oval in the league stage, but a finals defeat meant business yet wasn’t over and as the two again walked to the centre stage for the title, flashbacks had the environment lifted.
1st innings, Southern Brave : 101/7 (100)
Southern Brave opting to bat first had a decent start with Smriti Mandhana getting the team’s scoring underway with a boundary, but couldn’t follow up and nor could Danni Wyatt from the other end. After 20-odd balls, just as the two got a few boundaries, Shabnim Ismail struck Danni Wyatt on 15(16) and a wicket got another as Sophia Smale got Smriti Mandhana to walk back on 17(25). Tahlia McGrath and Sophia Dunkley following the blueprints of the openers, departed after having starts on scores of 20(17), 26(23) and in quick succession. With wickets of Georgia Adams departing for a duck and Freya Kemp on 2(5) the outing worsened for the Braves. A few singles towards the back end got the side to just tick past 100. Invincible with the ball had Alice Capsey and Shabnim Ismail deliver the best spells as the two picked up a couple of wickets each and finished their respective 20 balls outings with an economy rate of 0.85 and 0.6. Marizanne Kapp, Eva Gray and Sophia Smale had economical outings and followed with a wicket each.
2nd innings, Oval Invincible : 105-5 (94)
The Brave were off to a good start with the early wicket of Lauren Winfield-Hill on 5(7) which got Alice Capsey to the middle and she bossed her little stay with boundaries and a maximum. Suzie Bates’ stay came to a close on 3(6) and deliveries later Capsey too departed on 25(17). Oval Invincible having lost a couple of wickets in no time were 3 down for 33 in 28 balls. Mady Villiers’ got underway with a boundary straightaway but wasn’t much post as she departed on 10(10). Marizanne Kapp having just clicked with a couple of boundaries continued on her merry way but lost a partner more in Kira Chathli on 2(6) and the Invincible were 78-5 after 67 balls. Emily Windsor alongside a set Marizanne Kapp got the job done in 94 deliveries and the two remained unbeaten on scores of 13(15) and 37(33) respectively. Southern Brave had Amanda Jade Wellington with a couple of wickets top the charts and Georgia Adams, Anya Shrubsole and Lauren Bell follow on the list.
Oval Invincibles has done it again, for the 2nd time in a row
They are the Champions of Women’s Hundred 2022#CricketTwitter #TheHundred pic.twitter.com/wMMTmO3L7x
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 3, 2022
The Southern Brave too had an impressive outing with the ball, but the total on board was simply never enough. With the win, Oval Invincibles have got to 2 titles in 2 seasons and in the process denied the Southern Brave a celebration on both occasions. The rivalry building between the two is shaping up so well that there’s an anxious wait for the next season already.