|Manchester Originals 135-6 (100 balls): Lee 42 (39), Farrant 3-25
|Oval Invincibles 139-5 (98 balls): Van Niekerk 56 *, cross 3-28
|Invincibles won by five wickets with two balls remaining
The hundred in 100 words
Oval Invincibles celebrated a thrilling win over Manchester Originals when The Oval’s 100 women started with a bang.
The Invincibles 36-4 were on the hunt for 136 before the South African couple Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp formed a 73-strong partnership.
Kapp was brilliantly taken by surprise by Ellie Threkeld at 38, but captain Van Niekerk failed to hit 56 to lead her team home.
She hit Kate Cross for four to seal the win with two balls left, sparking wild cheers from the young London crowd – presumably a record for a domestic women’s professional game.
The opening thriller tournament was a dream
Could the much-discussed Hundred have had a better opening night? Almost certainly not.
There were around 7,400 people in attendance, many of these young children and families, and when the home team won, people were dancing in the aisles.
The night started with dramatic fireworks, DJs and music acts, but by the end everyone was immersed in cricket at The Oval – all live on BBC Two.
Van Niekerk, who was decisive twice, played brilliantly and showed all the experience she had gained in a 186-game international career.
The Invincibles took 16 of the last 10 balls and Mady Villiers hit England teammate Sophie Ecclestone for six over a long period of time.
Van Niekerk struck for 42 balls and scored a strong swing from Hartley over the center of the wicket with just six around the wicket
She hit Kate Cross for four at the start of the last set of five balls before Van Niekerk secured the win with an edge at the wicketkeeper.
Even after the defeat, Manchester’s Alex Hartley smiled at the occasion.
“I’ve never been so proud of a women’s cricket game,” she said, summing up the night perfectly.
“What a night,” added Originals’ Captain Cross. “I don’t think we can leave the pitch discouraged in such an atmosphere. Of course we’re disappointed that we can’t get over the line, but what a night!”
The same teams will open the men’s competition on Thursday, also in The Oval.
Singer-songwriter Becky Hill performed during the break between innings
Drops cost Manchester victory
In truth, Manchester should have scored the first victory in the latest format of cricket.
Opener Lizelle Lee reached 42 in a decent score on the first punch and Cross dismissed the Invincibles’ top 3 – Georgia Adams, Alice Capsey and Grace Gibbs – with a fine opening spell of the answer.
However, catches were dropped that cost the originals.
Harmanpreet Kaur, who had previously done a class of 29, missed an easy chance to fire Van Niekerk in the middle for 28, and Kapp was knocked down on 22 at the border by her South African teammate Mignon du Preez – the ball also went on six which exacerbates Manchester’s pain.
With 25 balls out of 15, Hartley still had time to beat Van Niekerk, now at 44, again. She spilled a miss sweep when stepping near the two-sided border.
After losing early wickets, the Invincibles (green line) were strong behind their opponent’s score before their strong finish for much of their innings