Birmingham Phoenix guilty of dropping four catches in the outfield as Oval Invincibles chase down 130; one of those drops proved particularly costly as Dane van Niekerk kicked on to a match-winning score of 67 from 51 balls
Last Updated: 04/08/21 6:45pm
Oval Invincibles secured a crucial eight-wicket win over Birmingham Phoenix at Edgbaston on Wednesday, with captain Dane van Niekerk impressing with an unbeaten fifty.
STORY OF THE MATCH
The Invincibles had faltered in their two previous games, in pursuit of modest run-chases, but Van Niekerk corrected that on this occasion, smashing eight boundaries and one six in her unbeaten 67 from 51 balls after promoting herself up the order.
The visitors had earlier restricted the Phoenix to 129-9 from their 100 balls, with left-arm quick Tash Farrant the star as she took 3-23 from her 20 deliveries.
Erin Burns struck 45 from 28 balls while wickets fell around him to at least give Birmingham a target to bowl at, though when Van Niekerk and Georgia Adams (42 from 30 balls) put on 90 together for the opening wicket it looked like the Invincibles were romping to victory.
Left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon (2-20) stepped up with the all-important breakthrough, and also bowled Fran Wilson for four soon after suddenly drag her side back into the contest.
But Van Niekerk’s onslaught kept pace, and talented youngster Alice Capsey (14no off 11) came in and struck the winning runs with a boundary whipped square on the legsside to see the Invincibles over the line with three balls to spare.
DROPPED CATCHES COSTLY
It could have all been so different for the Phoenix had they not shelled as many as four catches in the outfield!
Adams was put down twice, firstly by Katie Mack at deep square-leg with the 24th ball of the innings and then by Gwenan Davies at long-on, parrying the ball over the rope for a six to boot, to the 58th.
Most crucially, however, was Gordon’s error six balls earlier in putting down Van Niekerk himself, an absolute sitter at mid-off, while she was also guilty of dropping Capsey first ball off her own bowling.
Van Niekerk, after a couple of disappointing defeats at the hands of the Northern Superchargers and Welsh Fire, stepped up as skipper and shouldered the responsibility of the run chase at the top of the order.
Adams also served as a fine support act in firing five fours and a six in his enterprising knock, while tournament-leading wicket-taker Farrant’s fine form with the ball continued. The Invincibles are beginning to look exactly that.
It’s off to Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday as Manchester Originals play host to Southern Brave in our latest double-header of Hundred action.
Originals vs Brave
August 5, 2021, 3:00pm
Originals vs Brave
August 5, 2021, 6:45pm
It’s a case of top vs bottom when the women meet live from 3pm on Sky Sports Mix, with the Brave having won each of their opening four fixtures, while the Originals are still looking to get off the mark.
As for the meeting of the men – live on Sky Sports The Hundred from 6.45pm – it’s all much tighter, with the home side sitting on five points from four games and the Brave on four ahead of the key clash.
Both games will also be available live on the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel!
Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports between now and August 21.