Sport England international Kate Cross hails ‘amazing’ opening night of The Hundred
Agony for England but future is bright
Gareth Southgate's decisions will be questioned after England's defeat to Italy but the run to the final signals a bright future.But Southgate knows better than anyone just how cruel this sport can be and around three hours after the elation of that opening goal, his players found out for themselves.
Manchester Originals captain Kate Cross declared the opening match of The Hundred an “amazing night for women’s cricket” after the tournament got off on a memorable note for all the right reasons at the Kia Oval.
England international Cross ended up on the losing team after a half-century by opposite number Dane van Niekerk guided Oval Invincibles to a thrilling five-wicket victory after they chased down 136 to win with two balls to spare.
Three years after the original idea for this 100-ball tournament was unveiled, it finally got under way and even though the first ball was a leg-side wide, the contest turned into a run-fest much to the delight of the 7,395 spectators in attendance.
Adams: The Hundred will create female role models
Oval Invincibles batter Georgia Adams believes The Hundred will create female role models and grow the game of cricket.It certainly wasn't a case of being unfamiliar with the sport, or a bat-wielding black sheep in a family of footballers.
When the England and Wales Cricket Board put out plans for this unique concept in 2018, equality was a key selling point and the decision to put a women’s match on first paid off handsomely.
“I don’t think I can come off a cricket pitch and be more pleased at a loss,” Cross admitted.
“It was the most electric atmosphere and I have never played in front of that before. An amazing night for women’s cricket and almost the perfect night apart from the result!”
When Manchester Originals posted 135 for six from their 100 balls, largely thanks to 42 from South African opener Lizelle Lee, it appeared the visitors would claim a first win of the new competition.
The Hundred: How it works
Your essential guide to The Hundred, the new 100-ball competition that kicks off on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports. What is The Hundred?The Hundred is cricket like you have never seen it before. Jonny Bairstow will play for Welsh Fire in the inaugural Hundred tournament this summer The new 100-ball cricket competition launched by the England and Wales Cricket Board aims to make cricket accessible for the whole family through shorter, faster matches that last less than three hours, fusing high-energy entertainment with fast-paced sporting action.
Brilliant opening night for???????????? can’t wait to get out there tomorrow!
— Sam Billings (@sambillings)
The odds were stacked even more against Invincibles when Cross picked up two wickets in consecutive balls, but home skipper Van Niekerk put on 73 for the fifth wicket with wife Marizanne Kapp before a thick outside edge by the former clinched victory for the Oval-based team.
It produced another thunderous reaction from a youthful crowd, who had become encapsulated by the chase in the second half of the hosts’ innings.
England bowler Cross admitted: “I said to the girls before the biggest thing was enjoy everything, enjoy the occasion and the crowd because we have made history.
“Regardless of the result, we are history-makers so to enjoy it as much as we did, I think that is why we feel like we haven’t lost the game. We were the guinea pigs and I am so glad for the tournament it comes off and we got the night we wanted.
From Rashid Khan to Sarah Taylor, the players to watch in The Hundred
The 100-ball tournament gets under way on Wednesday with several players to keep an eye on.Here, the PA news agency takes a look at which players are likely to deliver with aplomb in the new format first unveiled by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2018.
“I felt the atmosphere even when I was in the ring, I couldn’t speak to anyone because it was so loud. I did get to go down to the boundary for a couple of balls, so that was nice, but they went over my head, so it feels like a win, I don’t feel like we lost that game of cricket, it is a strange feeling.”
What was your highlight today? ????
— The Hundred (@thehundred)
Even though it was a new team, the Oval crowd immediately got behind Invincibles who made a good start when Kapp picked up the first wicket of the inaugural tournament as Emma Lamb was caught behind off the seventh legitimate ball of the match.
The Originals recovered afterwards with Lee leading the charge but it was Cross who claimed the honour of the first maximum of the competition as the visitors set 136 for victory.
At 58 for four at the halfway stage and with 78 runs required it looked unlikely, but when Kapp cleared the boundary ropes thanks to a helping hand from fellow South African Mignon du Preez, a momentum shift occurred which the fans responded to with the captain leading the team home with two balls left.
5 things that caught the eye on the opening night of The Hundred
Kate Cross was in scorching form for Manchester Originals.The hosts Oval Invincibles ran out the winners over the Manchester Originals but all eyes were on cricket’s newest format and the controversial innovations that have come with it.
“It was electric and incredible, an experience to feel it and I think the crowd carried us at the back end,” Van Niekerk insisted after her 56 not out.
En route to Burnley forhaving a little wine and a watch of The Hundred. Brilliant so far – and the team doing a great job. Love that Tailenders is part of the coverage. And singing! A R1 fave. Go well! Also, on FIRE tonight!
— Greg James (@gregjames)
“It didn’t feel like the first game of The Hundred, it felt like something that had been there all the time. It was an incredible experience and I hope people come out for all the games and enjoy the tournament for what it is, really entertaining.”
While it is a new format and overs are no longer required, with the scoreboard different to Test, one-day and Twenty20 cricket, the end result is largely the same – the team with the most runs wins.
Ex-Surrey Stars ace Van Niekerk added: “I have played here before, but it was definitely the biggest crowd I have played in front of at the Oval and shows people are interested in the tournament.
“Like I said before in some interviews, it is still cricket, just the game is a little faster, but 100 balls is still 100 balls so hopefully everyone was entertained as much as we were.”Share on TwitterTweet
The Hundred finally takes its bow as debate rages on over game’s new competition .
The Oval Invincibles won after delivering a thrilling contest with the Manchester Originals.By the time Oval Invincibles captain Dane van Niekerk edged the winning runs off her Manchester Originals counterpart Kate Cross with just two balls remaining it was a triumph not just for her franchise, but the nascent competition itself.