Manchester Originals 123 for 9 (Dottin 42, Macdonald-Gay 4-16) were defeated by Oval Invincibles 128 for 7 (Capsey 50, van Niekerk 42) by five runs.
The Oval Invincibles, the two-time defending champions, earned their first victory of the year thanks to Ryana MacDonald-Gay, who went 4 for 16 to cap a nail-biting five-run victory over the Manchester Originals on a warm afternoon in South London.
Following Deandra Dottin’s third six of her inning at The Kia Oval, which brought her to 41 off 19 balls, the Originals needed 16 to win off 14 balls. However, she produced four straight dot balls to give the Invincibles a lead going into the last 10.
After retrieving Alice Capsey’s toss to run Fi Morris out, MacDonald-Gay, a 19-year-old seamer, backed her slower deliveries at the death and had Dottin caught at short third and Kathryn Bryce mistiming to midwicket. With 13 needed off of the final set of five balls, Eva Gray completed the Invincibles’ victory.
Capsey and Dane van Niekerk, whose third-wicket partnership of 61 runs in 37 balls enabled the Invincibles to post 128 for 7, were responsible for the outcome. This was a marked improvement from the 80 runs they managed in their first completed inning of title defense in a three-wicket loss to Welsh Fire on Sunday night.
It was MacDonald-Gay who made the winning basket.
However, MacDonald-Gay scored the game-winning point. She was a constant for the Invincibles last season, but her use of the ball decreased in the latter stages of the competition, and she sat out of their final three games, including the game that decided the tournament. She bowled all 20 of her allotted deliveries for the first time in her hundred-year career.
Just as she was shifting into gear, she struck with her third ball, hitting Laura Wolvaardt on the pad and having her lbw on review for 27. In her second set of five, she had Ami Campbell caught at point after skying a slower ball to Marizanne Kapp.
Dottin crushed her for four runs in her third set, but she only allowed three runs in her last one as she relied on her variations to finish with the fourth-best bowling stats so far in the competition.
“She’s been brilliant for us at South East Stars, coming in at the back end and bowling her slower balls,” Capsey said of her teammate. She bowls them wonderfully, which is one of her abilities and a reason why our staff values her so much. Every time she enters the game, she has an effect.
Deandra Dottin, one of the top players in the world, was being bowled at by her. That demonstrates both her character and her skill as a bowler. She played to her strengths and truly maintained her composure. All you can hope for from a bowler is that. She continued to play for us.
With the bat, the Invincibles got off to a poor start, but Mahika Gaur struck first. Lauren Winfield-Hill was out after 15 of the first 20 balls were bowled by Gaur, a towering adolescent left-arm seamer who had statistics of 1 for 7 from her first three sets.
Capsey struggled with timing early on, while Sophie Ecclestone dragged out her own entry before hitting in her first set, leaving Suzie Bates stunned. She was dropped by Morris at position 28 and later given LBW before successfully appealing the field ruling.
She generally took a backseat to van Niekerk, but she did push Ecclestone back over her head for a straight six. She was stumped right after completing her first competitive half-century in 40 balls since the end of May.
Van Niekerk smashed a six and a four off consecutive deliveries from Amanda-Jade Wellington to score fast against the Originals’ spinners, who were restrained until the end of the innings as the Invincibles looked to make a late push beyond 140.
Instead, they dropped to 128 for 7 after van Niekerk was dismissed by Wellington after being caught at long-on. This was followed by three run-outs in the final six balls. To the great relief of the Invincibles, the mini-collapse proved to be cheap.
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