In a loosened show of cricket from Oval Invincibles, Welsh Fire emerged triumphant by 3 wickets and 20 balls remaining with a fine array of bowling in The Hundred 2023. Shabnim Ismail won the Player of the Match award for her outstanding figure of 3 scalps off 12 runs.
Welsh Fire won the toss and chose to bowl first thus inviting the Oval Invincibles to face their attack kicked off with the new ball by Claire Nicholas. Lauren Winfield-Hill and Suzie Bates were down on the crease to start off the innings with a single and a four and very first two balls, respectively.
Hill came up with another boundary on the 12th ball but her co-opener Bates had to depart early at just 5 off 10 on the 16th ball of the innings. Hill kept steering the wheel for her side as she thumped the 23rd ball for a fantastic four. Amid some poised run-about, Alice Capsey was the fresh one to depart for the pavilion.
And with this, the Invincibles’ line-up seemed to collapse like anything else as Dane van Niekerk (2 off 6), Marizanne Kapp (3 off 6), Paige Scholfield (5 off 8), and two on golden ducks in the names of Mady Villiers and Ryana MacDonald-Gay, got succumbed to the Fire bowling attack and supremacy.
With Eva Gray’s wicket on the 61st ball, the Invincibles’ innings took a couple of boundaries’ rest that came after a wait of ages from the bat of Hill and Sophia Smale who unfortunately got run out on the 75th ball. Hill, from one end, tried her best out of anything to add runs as she again returned with a boundary on the 80th ball.
Lizzie Scott was fresh on the crease yet pulled much power to heal her team’s condition by smashing a boundary on the 81st ball and that followed a fine rotation of strikes between the two until Hill stroke back with another boundary on the 95th ball but she also became the last nail into the coffin from her side as she got bowled out by Freya Davies at a much celebrated 42 off 35 balls. It ended with just 80 runs on the board for Invincibles in The Hundred 2023.
The match looked to be well pocketed by Fire with a magnificent bowling attack but it was a shock for them as Tammy Beaumont was knocked out by Kapp at a golden duck that too on the very first ball of the chase. Although Dunkley pulled up the early pressure with a boundary on the very next ball Hayley Matthews, the new down could not resist the Invincibles’ defence and departed on a golden duck too on the 7th ball.
Two early wickets on one hand and Dunkley on the other; she steered the chase finely through the top-notch bowling attack and amassed as many as four quick boundaries. Georgia Elwiss and Dunkley led the chase well-crafted with timely singles converting them into doubles which showed a fine array of running between the wickets with the former getting her first boundary of the match.
But Paige Scholfield brought the massive breakthrough for her team with two valuably big scalps in the names of Dunkley at 28 off 21 balls and Laura Harris at a golden duck. Elwiss seemed to get some balance as she punched back with two consecutive boundaries on the 53rd and 54th ball each. Her last four came on the 62nd ball before she left for the dugout getting a LBW on the 63rd ball.
Emily Windsor followed Elwiss’ wicket that too at a golden duck thus making the chase much more dramatic and hanging with 12 runs left for back four wickets of Fire. And meanwhile, things changed all of a sudden with a wild throw by Kapp on the 69th ball that gifted Fire 5 golden runs in utter need.
Although Davies was the last one in the row to return to the dugout the job was done already as only a couple of singles and a double helped Fire reach the target of 81 at a cost of 7 wickets down the line in The Hundred 2023.
The Hundred 2023: Oval Invincibles vs Welsh Fire Brief Scores
Oval Invincibles 80/10 in 98 balls (Lauren Winfield-Hill 42; Shabnim Ismail 3-12) lost to Welsh Fire 81/7 in 80 balls (Georgia Elwiss 33, Sophia Dunkley 28; Marizanne Kapp 4-18, Paige Scholfield 2-19) by 3 wickets.