Oval Invincibles' van Niekerk praises Kapp's star quality after Hundred final win

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Dane van Niekerk proudly holds the Women's Hundred trophy after leading her side to victory over the Southern Brave
Dane van Niekerk proudly holds the Women's Hundred trophy after leading her side to victory over the Southern Brave

By Milly McEvoy at Lord's

Dane van Niekerk praised Marizanne Kapp’s star quality after her South African teammate bowled the Oval Invincibles to the first Women’s Hundred title at Lord’s.

The Invincibles had set the Southern Brave a chaseable target of 122, but a devastating opening spell from Kapp saw the pre-match favourites reduced to 2-3.

Southern Brave would eventually be bowled out for 73, losing by 48 runs following their lowest score of the tournament, as the Oval Invincibles made history in front of a record crowd for the domestic women’s game.

"Marizanne has been incredible. It just shows you the quality player she is. She is the hardest working person I know, so nobody deserves it more,” said Invincibles skipper Van Niekerk.

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“Shabnim [Ismail] thought Kappie was going to enjoy bowling here. They just wanted to get to Lord's because they were excited to bowl on the wicket.

“They knew the wicket would do the job for them if they just put it in the right areas.

"We started off incredibly well and it just snowballed.”

Kapp had earlier put on important runs, combining with teenage sensation Alice Capsey to add 34 for the fourth wicket.

The all-rounder would end with 26 off 14 balls, the joint-highest score in the final alongside her wife Van Niekerk, with Capsey making a quick-fire 18.

The Oval Invincibles were dominant in their bowling innings, skittling Southern Brave for 73 to claim the title
The Oval Invincibles were dominant in their bowling innings, skittling Southern Brave for 73 to claim the title

"I always felt if we got runs on the board in a final the pressure is always on the batters to go and get it and everything worked out for us. I couldn't have asked for more,” added Van Niekerk.

"It's incredible to win a Lord's final and a special moment. One day when I retire I can look back and say I won at Lord's."

While there was elation for the Invincibles, the Southern Brave were left wondering what if, producing what skipper Anya Shrubsole believes was their worst performance of the tournament.

Shrubsole was the pick of the Brave bowlers, taking 2-16 from her 20 balls on the same ground on which she bowled England to World Cup glory in 2017.

Lauren Bell also took two wickets but it came at the cost of five boundaries, ending with 2-24.

Anya Shrubsole was one of eight batters to post scores in single figures for the Brave
Anya Shrubsole was one of eight batters to post scores in single figures for the Brave

Only three Brave batters got into double figures in the chase, Fi Morris top-scoring with 23 when the game was already out of reach.

“It goes without saying it is obviously disappointing,” said Shrubsole.

"The worst game we've played was probably the final. A huge amount of credit must go to Dane and the Oval Invincibles who I thought bowled really well up top and you are going to struggle to chase many things down when you are three down inside the first ten balls.

"I don't think the occasion got to us. Two of the first three wickets are England internationals, so I think that is an obvious thing to say, but don't think that is the case.

"I thought we bowled really well and fielded well on the whole, though we dropped a couple of catches. We just didn't bat well enough at the end of the day.”

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