After a historic night, Oval Invincibles’ skipper Dane van Niekerk admitted that the atmosphere at the Oval was electric and insisted that the crowd carried them in the back end of their innings. Meanwhile, Kate Cross stated that regardless of the result, they were history-makers on Wednesday.
All the hype around England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s brainchild ‘The Hundred’ was put to test on Wednesday, in the opening fixture between the Manchester Originals and the Oval Invincibles. Starting from the word go, the fixture read electric, scintillating display of cricket, with both sides not giving the tiniest space for the other, with the crowd behind their back.
Despite Lizelle Lee and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 42 and 29, the Manchester Originals ended up with a total of 135, with 1.35 RPB. Even though Kate Cross struck early to put a dagger in the Invincibles batting order, skipper Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp ensured that the Invincibles remained true to their name.
In the post-match presentation, van Niekerk admitted that the atmosphere was incredible and electric. She also insisted that the crowd were responsible for carrying them towards the back end of their innings, where they won the contest with two balls to spare.
"I was just really happy that that the first match of the Hundred was so entertaining," van Niekerk said, reported ESPNCricinfo.
"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,” she added.
However, she also hoped that the crowd at the Oval saw it as a game of cricket, with utmost skills required, instead of viewing it as just a Hundred ball competition.
"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."
Even though Cross ended up on the losing end, she was left chuffed by the display from both teams, stating that regardless of the result, they ended up as history-makers on Wednesday night.
"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,” Cross said.
"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 concluded.