The Hundred tournament opened on Wednesday with a fiery game between Kate Cross-led team Manchester Originals and Oval Invincibles at The Kia Oval. Even though the Originals lost the game by five wickets, Kate Cross couldn’t contain her excitement on playing such a thrilling opening game.
“What a night! I don’t think we could have asked for a better opening game,” said Originals captain Kate Cross.
The Originals skipper clinched three impressive wickets, but even that could not counter the unbeaten knock of 56 runs by opponent captain Van Niekerk. The Originals reached the target of 136 runs with two balls remaining. She hit Cross for a four to seal the victory in their opening game. But regardless of the result, Cross admitted that she was excited to be part of the ‘history’.
“It was a great game of cricket which is what the tournament needed to start it off. I am disappointed not to win but I said to the girls beforehand that we are making history. The result was irrelevant.
The game was played in front of an enthusiastic 7,395 spectators. Cross admitted that she hopes the game would be an inspiration for the ones interested in the sport.
“We didn’t know what to expect from the crowd but I have never played in front of a crowd like that in international cricket, in the Big Bash, or anywhere.“
“It is incredible and I hope it inspires someone to pick up a cricket bat and go out and play with their brothers and sisters because it is an amazing sport. Hats off to the ECB for creating this.”
For the Manchester Originals side, which posted 135 runs at the loss of six wickets, South African opener Lizelle Lee made an instrumental contribution. She scored a clinical 42-run knock. It seemed like the game was going in their favour. However, Niekerk’s 73-run partnership with Marizanne Kapp turned out to be the game-changer. Even though Kapp was dismissed by Ellie Threkeld for 38, Niekerk guides the team to victory.