Oval Invincibles captain Suzie Bates hailed her side’s match-winning duo of Marizanne Kapp and Alice Capsey after they ensured the Women’s Hundred trophy will be staying in south London for a second year.
Having won last year’s inaugural title, the Invincibles defended their crown with a five-wicket win over rivals Southern Brave in front of a record crowd at Lord’s.
An audience of 20,840, the most ever for a domestic women’s match in England, saw the Invincibles edge out the Brave for the second year in a row as they chased down a gentle target of 102 with six balls remaining.
The pair have little in common on the face of it. Kapp is 32, a high-profile overseas star and was already a tenured international when the 100-ball tournament launched; Capsey has just turned 18 and was still doing her GCSEs when she first broke into the team.
But they have both taken a liking to the competition and turned in decisive performances at the home of cricket. Kapp took one for 19 and led the chase with a top score of 37 not out, while Capsey claimed two for 17 and hit a lively 25.
“The way Kapp batted was awesome. She shows up for those tough moments,” said Bates.
“One hundred per cent she’s one of the best all-rounders in the world and she showed why. Alice… she’s a big-moment player. I felt I could just give her the strike, stand and watch.
“Under pressure you need to be brave and she’s done that all season.”
It's been an amazing journey. I've loved the tournament, it's my favourite
Kapp was on familiar footing having edged her younger team-mate to the match hero award, making it two in a row having also claimed the honour in 2021.
She has every reason to feel positive about the tournament and was effusive about the stage that the women’s game has been given in England.
“It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve loved the tournament, it’s my favourite,” she said.
“The crowds have been amazing throughout. Thanks for coming out and supporting women’s cricket.
“I have to give credit to my team, they’ve all been amazing. You’re always nervous in finals, especially with low scores, but every single person has contributed.”
Brave skipper Anya Shrubsole felt her side gave up the initiative in the first innings of the match and were never able to claw it back.
“In the end we were 15-20 runs short, if we’d got 120 we were right in the game,” she said.
“If we’d been flawless with the ball and in the field we might have had enough but it wasn’t to be.
“Oval seem to turn up in finals, they’re a really hard team to beat and they’ve done us two years in a row. It’s pretty disappointing but we just fell short.”