Indian batter Harmanpreet Kaur made a quick-fire 16-ball 29 but could not save her team Manchester Originals (Women) from a five-wicket defeat to Oval Invincibles (Women) in the inaugural match of The Hundred competition on Wednesday (July 21) night. South African Dane van Niekerk hit an unbeaten 42-ball 56 and shared a 73-run partnership with Proteas teammate and spouse Marizanne Kapp (38) for the fifth wicket to lead the Oval franchise to a win with two balls to spare.
Harmanpreet hit six boundaries during her stay before she fell to left-arm seamer Natasha Farrant, who picked 3/25 in 20 balls. Marizanne picked 2/20 in 20 balls as Oval restricted Manchester to 135/6 in 100 balls.
In response, England pace bowler Kate Cross (3/28 in 18 balls) ran through the Oval top-order, reducing them to 36/4. But Dane and Marizanne brought the home side back on track.
The first-ever win goes to Oval Invincibles!
What a moment! pic.twitter.com/6u4hauRUD3
— The Hundred (@thehundred) July 21, 2021
For the women’s game it seems a win-win situation, with the spotlight turned its way in unprecedented fashion on the global circuit. “I don’t think I can come off a cricket pitch and be more pleased at a loss,” Cross said.
“It was the most electric atmosphere and I have never played in front of that before. An amazing night for women’s cricket and almost the perfect night apart from the result!” she added.
The white-ball contest consists of 100 balls per innings with a change of ends after every 10 deliveries. Bowlers can deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls, with each bowler allowed a maximum of 20 deliveries per games.
Brief scores: Manchester Originals (Women) 135/6 in 100 balls (Lizelle Lee 42, Harmanpreet Kaur 29, N Farrant 3/25, M Kapp 2/20) lost to Oval Invincibles (Women) 139/5 in 98 balls (Dane van Niekerk 56 not out, Marizanne Kapp 38, Kate Cross 3/28)
(with IANS inputs)