Eliminator, The Oval, August 20, 2021, The Hundred Women's Competition

Invincibles won by 20 runs

Player Of The Match

Tash Farrant, Marizanne Kapp share seven wickets as Invincibles scrap into final

Invincibles produce magic moments in the field to defend below-par total

Valkerie Baynes
Valkerie Baynes
Tash Farrant and Dane van Niekerk exchange high fives, Oval Invincibles vs Birmingham Phoenix, Women's Hundred, The Oval, August 20, 2021

Tash Farrant and Dane van Niekerk exchange high fives  •  Getty Images

Oval Invincibles 114 for 7 (Kapp 37, Gordon 2-22) beat Birmingham Phoenix 94 (A Jones 35, Farrant 4-10, Kapp 3-21) by 20 runs
A stunning bowling performance from Tash Farrant sent Oval Invincibles into Saturday's Women's Hundred final against Southern Brave.
Farrant's tournament-best 4 for 10 off 19 deliveries put her top of the wicket-takers' list with 18 and allowed Invincibles to defend what looked like a below-par total in the Eliminator against Birmingham Phoenix, who lost their last six wickets for 13 runs. Phoenix captain Amy Jones top-scored for her side with 35 off 25 balls and shared a 52-run partnership with Erin Burns but it was all in vain with Farrant's hand in both dismissals, including a brilliant catch to account for Burns amid a near-flawless showing in the field by the home side.
Marizanne Kapp played an excellent supporting role to Farrant in Invincibles' hour of need, top-scoring with a run-a-ball 37 and taking 3 for 21.
Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, the Birmingham side's ability to take wickets at key moments ensured Invincibles' innings never really got going. Indeed, it looked like the home side would struggle to post a triple-figure total for only the second time in the tournament but in back-to-back matches after they were bowled out for 85 in a 30-run defeat at the hands of Southern Brave on Monday.
After just 17 balls, Invincibles had lost both their leading run-scorers to that point, captain Dane van Niekerk and Georgia Adams, with just 15 runs on the board. Teenager Alice Capsey leap-frogged Adams into second place on that list with 26 off 20 balls and her 54-run partnership with Kapp gave their bowlers something to defend.
Phoenix, without opener Shafali Verma who has returned to India ahead of their tour to Australia, started brightly enough but once Jones - who had looked in excellent touch striking six fours - fell to Farrant's bowling, their run-chase fell away swiftly.
Doff your Kapp
Kapp came in with her side in terrible trouble at 15 for 2 and things didn't look much brighter when Fran Wilson - reaching double figures for just the third time in eight innings - fell for 21 off 17. But Kapp, who had missed a large chunk of Invincibles' campaign through injury, lifted them off the floor with her battling knock and fifty stand with Capsey.
Then, with Invincibles staring down a big task to defend such a middling total, Kapp struck twice in six balls to keep them in it. Katie Mack, who moved up the order to replace Verma, fell third ball when Kapp lured her in with a full outswinger and drew an edge that went through to keeper Sarah Bryce. Then, having waited until the 13th ball of the innings to face her first delivery, opener Eve Jones fell immediately when Kapp found another edge which Bryce took well low to the ground.
Amy Jones struck the first ball she faced off Kapp to the boundary through the off side and in no time she helped herself to two more off Shabnim Ismail and Kapp, as Phoenix looked to make good use of the Powerplay in a small chase.
Tash magic
To top off Kapp's contribution, Farrant produced a piece of sheer brilliance in the field to give Kapp her third wicket from just 15 deliveries. Having put on 52 runs with Amy Jones, Burns lifted Kapp wide of extra cover and Farrant, running from mid-off launched herself to her left to pluck the ball from the air, letting out a huge roar in celebration as she leapt to her feet.
Returning to the attack on the very next ball, Farrant then claimed the prize wicket of Amy Jones, her slower ball enticing a drive which went straight to extra cover, where van Niekerk claimed a straightforward catch. With Phoenix needing 49 off as many balls, Invincibles had a spring in their step as Jones sat stony faced, her helmet still on, in the dugout.
van Niekerk claimed a much more difficult chance, not quite on the scale of Farrant's but sharp all the same and no less important, with an excellent return catch to dismiss Marie Kelly, who had struck the ball hard back at the bowler.
When Farrant deceived Gwen Davies with another slower ball that went straight up above Bryce, the keeper collected, making up for dropping Burns on 16 in possibly the only blemish on Invincibles' otherwise immaculate fielding for the day. Then Capsey chimed in with a wonderful caught-and-bowled, taking the ball high above her head to remove Georgia Elwiss.
But the best was yet to come for Invincibles' cause when Farrant claimed the final two wickets in the space of three balls. She had Emily Arlott comfortably caught by Ismail at long on and then it was Kapp who caught Kirstie Gordon smartly at cover to seal victory and best bowling figures for the tournament for Farrant.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo

AskESPNcricinfo Logo
Instant answers to T20 questions
Phoenix Innings
<1 / 3>

The Hundred Women's Competition