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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Dane van Niekerk leads Oval Invincibles to win over Manchester Originals as The Hundred begins with a bang

The opening match of The Hundred got under way with a thriller where more than 250 runs were scored as Oval Invincibles were guided to victory over Manchester Originals by captain Dane van Niekerk.

The England and Wales Cricket Board revealed the original idea for this 100-ball tournament three years ago and finally it became a reality with 7,395 spectators in attendance at the Kia Oval.

While the format comes with plenty of new rules, some things remain the same and Van Niekerk’s half-century saw Invincibles chase down a target of 136 for victory by five wickets and with two balls to spare.

It capped a memorable evening in the capital with Marizanne Kapp, Van Niekerk’s wife, also claiming the honour of taking the first wicket despite getting proceedings started with a leg-side wide, but the cricket improved from that point onwards much to the delight of a youthful crowd.

While Originals captain Kate Cross called correctly at the toss and choose to bat first, the opening run of the competition occurred via an extra once fireworks and flame throwers had gone off at the Kia Oval.

Kapp got proceedings under way with a leg-side wide before the first run from the bat went to visiting opener Lee following a pull down to fine leg which almost went to the boundary after Shabnim Ismail initially misfielded.

The South African bowler did make more history soon after, having taken advantage of the chance to bowl 10 consecutive balls, as with her seventh legal delivery Emma Lamb was caught behind by Sarah Bryce for a duck.

Umpire Tim Robinson had made a surprise not-out call, but a review brought about the first wicket of The Hundred before the runs started to flow.

Lizelle Lee, one of five Proteas involved, hit two boundaries off Tash Farrant before number three Georgie Boyce joined the party with two fours off Kapp.

The Originals had reached 36 for one after 25 balls, the end of the powerplay, and it was soon over to the spinners with captain van Nierkerk going through for 10 deliveries and Mady Villiers doing likewise.

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