Oval Invincibles women secure inaugural Hundred title with crushing victory over Southern Brave
By Isabelle Westbury
Oval Invincbles 121/6 beat Southern Brave 73ao by 48 runs
Lord’s has long been a place where history is made. On the one hand, on Saturday afternoon it entertained the first final of a women’s domestic competition in the ground’s 207-year history. On the other, it produced the lowest team total of the entire tournament as the Southern Brave, top of the table entering the final, capitulated to 73 all-out, still 48 runs short of their target.
Perhaps ‘Kappitulation’ is a better term as much of the damage was done at the hands of the fiery South African all-rounder, Marizanne Kapp. Each ball of her opening ten-ball spell was an event in itself as Kapp skittled the Brave’s top three, each for a duck, in the space of seven deliveries. A top three which included two of the batters who had steered the Brave so capably through to the Final, in the forms of Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley. That Kapp finished things off, clean bowling the Brave’s final woman in, seemed all the more appropriate.
The Brave have not been a team to succumb to seam bowling; before the Final, they had lost just seven wickets to the art through the course of their eight group fixtures. They were a team who had sailed through to Lord’s, high on confidence having conceded just one defeat, accomplished in all three disciplines and primed for an inaugural tournament win.
Whether it was nerves, the venue, the rain or the fact that this was the Southern Brave’s first competitive match since a dead-rubber a whole five days before, who knows. It was a batting collapse of the highest degree and the 48-run margin, another tournament record, was a shame to see unfold on this of all days.
There is something to be said for the side having played the Eliminator, instead of qualifying directly for the Final, having an advantage. There is an added edge, a knowledge that they can win the big moments having done so just 24 hours before. In both the Eliminator and the Final, the Invincibles found themselves defending a below-par score. However, if the grand occasions detrimentally effected each side’s batting (no player reached 30), the opposite must be said of its bowling.
Lord’s finals, in particular, have a tendency to bring out the best in women’s bowlers. Four years ago Anya Shrubsole’s six wickets for 46 in the World Cup final remain her best ODI figures while Kapp’s four wickets 9 runs on Saturday topped this tournament’s best bowling figures. In two days, encompassing both the Eliminator and the Final, Kapp has taken seven wickets for 30 runs off 33 deliveries: a big-game performer if ever there was one.