Oval Invincibles 107 for two (Winfield-Hill 41*, van Niekerk 21*, Arlott 1-8) beat Birmingham Phoenix 106 for 7 (E Jones 29, Capsey 3-15, Villiers 1-15) by eight wickets
Oval Invincibles squeezed the life out of Birmingham Phoenix’s star-studded batting line-up with spin, boosting their qualification hopes and leaving Southern Brave as the one unbeaten facet throughout the ladies’s Hundred.
Invincibles’ determination to depart Dane van Niekerk out of their final two video games was a seismic one: she was their captain and the event’s MVP as they lifted the trophy final season, however with 4 abroad gamers permitted within the squad and Suzie Bates in glorious type, she was squeezed out of the facet.
But together with her spouse Marizanne Kapp rested for the Phoenix recreation with a sore quadriceps, van Niekerk returned to the facet. “It has been tough sitting out,” she admitted on the toss, resuming captaincy duties after Bates had been deputised, as her determination to bowl first was vindicated by a formidable efficiency from her bowlers.
With the bat, she was not at her fluent greatest however nonetheless made a telling contribution from No. 4 in what was her first innings since final 12 months’s WBBL remaining. Van Niekerk was reprieved early on when Amy Jones fumbled a run-out probability, however consecutive boundaries – one swept, one pulled – off Georgia Elwiss eliminated any scoring strain from the chase.
She ended up unbeaten on 21 off as many balls, leaving Invincibles’ coach Jon Batty with one other powerful determination to make when Kapp returns to health.
Phoenix got here into this recreation with a 100% document to guard however by no means obtained going with the bat. Sophie Devine fell early, high-edging a sweep into the leg facet to be caught-and-bowled by Smale – the 17-12 months-previous left-arm spinner – as Eve Jones’ anchoring, run-a-ball 29 was the one contribution of word.
Smale, Capsey and Villiers eliminated all the high 5 between them. Capsey had Amy Jones caught slapping to level, whereas Villiers’ arm ball accounted for Ellyse Perry, who was well stumped by Winfield-Hill. Capsey bowled Eve Jones and Sophie Molineux as Phoenix slipped from 64 for two to 71 for five, and so they may solely sneak as much as 106 regardless of Emily Arlott’s late blows.
Invincibles cruise house
Winfield-Hill and Bates set the tone within the chase with three boundaries within the first seven balls, getting Invincibles forward of the run price. And regardless of Bates falling contained in the powerplay, Capsey signalled her intent by hammering her third ball down the bottom for six. When Winfield-Hill hit Molineux for 4 and 6 within the first set of the powerplay, the remainder of the innings was a formality.
“It was a big game for us,” Capsey mentioned. “Everyone came out with the energy of wanting to be part of a big occasion. I tend to thrive on the big moments; it narrows my focus a bit more. At the moment, within this team, I’m really backed to take the positive option which is amazing. It gives me great confidence.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98