The Oval Invincibles are set to take on the Manchester Originals in the opening match of The Hundred Women's 2021 on Wednesday, July 21. The match will take place at Kennington Oval in London.
The Originals have a power-packed squad at their disposal in the Hundred. Harmanpreet Kaur found her rhythm after scoring in the 30s in India’s last two T20Is against England earlier this month. She has the potential to smash the leather a fair distance.
South Africa’s Lizelle Lee is also known for packing a punch, having scored a century and two fifties in the T20Is. The team also has Sophie Ecclestone, who’s the ICC’s No. 1 ranked T20I bowler with 783 rating points currently.
The youngster can bowl at various stages of games and has been a genuine wicket-taker for England over the years.
Kate Cross should be high on confidence after picking up a five-wicket haul against India. The onus will also be on Mignon Du Preez to deliver in the Hundred.
The Invincibles will depend heavily on Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk in the Hundred. Both have delivered time and again for the South African national team.
Kapp can use the long handle to good effect lower down the order. Van Niekerk scored nearly 1900 runs in T20Is to go with 63 wickets. Having played in the Women’s Big Bash League, Kapp and van Niekerk have decent T20 experience.
Their national teammate Shabnim Ismail has led their bowling attack, and a lot will depend on her as well.
Mady Villiers, the young leg-spinner, was part of the T20I series against India. Though she picked up only a solitary wicket, she remains a lethal prospect with the ball in hand.
The likes of Tash Farrant, Georgia Adams, and Fran Wilson also need to play their part in the Hundred.
Can the Invincibles beat the Originals?
On paper, the Originals are stronger than the Invincibles. For the latter, Kapp and Ismail need to make early inroads into the opposition’s batting lineup. If the likes of Kaur and Lee get going, then the Invincibles could end up chasing leather.
In the batting department, the Invincibles’ batters will be up against the likes of Ecclestone, Cross, and others. The Invincibles need to be at their lethal best to have any chance of getting past the Originals in the first game of the Hundred.
Prediction: Manchester Originals to win the match.