The Hundred Women’s 2022, Match 1 Review: Lauren Winfield-Hill, Suzie Bates shine as Oval Invincibles start with a bang

Defending champions Oval Invincibles chased down a 144-run target with 16 balls to spare, courtesy of the top-order batters.

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Suzie Bates
Suzie Bates. (Photo by Mark Brake-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

It was a memorable outing for the defending champions- Oval Invincibles, in the opening fixture of The Hundred Women 2022, as they started off on a high note by handing the Northern Superchargers a thumping nine-wicket defeat. The game saw Dane van Niekerk not just return to cricket, after her injury, but also don the captaincy hat in style as she led the side to a win in their campaign opener.

After the Invincibles opted to bowl, Superchargers got off to a good start as India batter Jemimah Rodrigues and Alyssa Healy led their way with the bat. It was the latter who took charge of the game from the word go, but her time on the field did not last for a long time as Sophia Smale got the Invincibles the first breakthrough and put brakes on the wicketkeeper-batter’s innings early.

Healy’s cameo of a 7-ball 15 runs was studded with two fours and a six, but her dismissal slowed down the team’s momentum. Top-order batter Bess Heath and skipper Hollie Armitage had to find their way back to the pavilion soon as they entered before Rodrigues found a strong partner in the form of Laura Wolvaardt.

The duo shared a 66-run stand for the fourth wicket, but with a limit on the number of deliveries, Rodrigues hit the ball towards the fence, all over the Kennington Oval. She contributed majorly to the partnership, hitting eight fours in total, and took the team to cross the three-figure mark on the scoreboard, also getting her half-century, before being dismissed by Ryana Macdonald-Gay.

Wolvaardt played her signature shots in style and took charge of the hitting after Rodrigues’ dismissal. She fell short of just one run from getting a well-deserved half-century as she was dismissed on the 100th ball of the innings, but nevertheless, the Superchargers posted a defendable target of 143 runs in their quota.

A star-studded top-order guided the Oval Invincibles

While it looked like a defendable total, the Invincibles top-order made it look like a cakewalk. Openers Lauren Winfield-Hill and Suzie Bates shared a record 104-run stand and stood very strong against the Superchargers’ bowling attack. The duo had cut short the 144-run chase majorly, with the team needing just 40 runs after Suzie Bates’ dismissal.

Alice Capsey, who injured herself in the first innings, joined the in-form Winfield-Hill and knocked the bowlers all over. Her cameo of an unbeaten 8-ball 25 took the side over the finishing line with 16 balls to spare, but it was the unbeaten knock of 42-ball 74 runs by opener Winfield-Hill that guided the team to their enigmatic victory. She was also adjudged with the Hero of the Match award.

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