The opening night of the inaugural season of The Hundred kicked off in style with a thunderous start as the Oval Invincibles swept the match by 5 wickets. The result came as Dane van Niekerk’s unbeaten half-century. Despite the loss, Manchester Originals’ Kate Cross felt she has won something from the match, too.
Cross looked in her slaying momentum as she won the toss with the charm and hit the first maximum to flaunt the style she keeps with herself. Despite the statistics that mater in an international tournament, what meant most to Cross was to witness the history that she, her team along with the opposition were parts of.
“It feels like a win. I don’t feel like we’ve lost that game of cricket. It’s a strange feeling but I just can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it,” Cross said and added, “There’s a lot of learning while we’re out there but I said to the girls, tonight my biggest thing was first and foremost, enjoy everything. Enjoy the crowd, enjoy the occasion because we’ve made history. Regardless of the result. I said that’s irrelevant, we’re history makers.”
With 12 runs off 4 balls consisting of three magnificent boundaries and three wickets with the ball in hand, Cross spent an excellent evening with a crowd-load of 7395 instead of the normal strength of 28,000. But more enjoyable was the enthusiastic atmosphere as the match took to its all-new charm. As the home side mounted the 136-run summit, the stadium got the buzz.
“Let’s be honest, we were the guinea pigs. No one knew what tonight was going to look like and I’m so glad for the tournament, I’m so glad for everyone that’s worked so hard behind the scenes… they got the night they wanted and hopefully people enjoyed it,” she noted and further added, “Honestly, I don’t think I could come off a cricket pitch and be more pleased with a loss. Genuinely it was the most electric atmosphere, I’ve never played in front of a crowd like that before.”
“A new tournament with new rules, a lot of nerves around the group, a lot of unknowns, I couldn’t be prouder of the girls, I couldn’t be prouder of our performance.It was just an amazing night for women’s cricket, it felt like it was almost a perfect night for what the tournament needed to open. I’m absolutely buzzing, I don’t think I’m going to get to sleep tonight,” she remarked firmly.
Stretching arms to the extremes of the gladness came thunderously to Niekerk as she edged the winning runs at an absent deep third. “I was just really happy that that the first match of the Hundred was so entertaining,” van Niekerk said and further pointed, “A bit more stressful than we wanted it to be but it was nice to give the crowd something to watch and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. It was electric, it was incredible. The crowd carried us at the back end. The trick for Hundred’s organizers will be maintaining that warm afterglow.”
As an independent challenge, this match was distinctly battled, superior grade and altogether watchable. Regardless of whether the Hundred is a sufficient curve on the game previously cherished by numerous individuals to draw in new fans, whether it contrasts from T20 adequately to keep going long haul, and whether it will hurt different formats as much as some dread, nobody knows. However, basically it has begun with somewhat largely of a talk of vociferousness.
“I hope that people come out every single game like that and enjoy this tournament, it’s really entertaining. I played for Surrey Stars for two years and it was definitely the biggest crowd that I’ve played in front of at The Oval and it showed that people are interested in this tournament. I hope that the people saw that it’s still cricket, it’s just a little bit shorter and a little bit faster, but the skill is still up there, it’s still exciting. A hundred balls is a hundred balls but it’s still cricket and I hope everyone was entertained as much as we were,” Niekerk concluded.