5th Match, Lord's, July 25, 2021, The Hundred Women's Competition

Invincibles won by 15 runs

Player Of The Match
59 (41)

Teenager Alice Capsey hits the high notes as Oval Invincibles win again

Captain Dane van Niekerk plays an equally pivotal role with bat and ball

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Alice Capsey top-scored for the Invincibles with 59, London Spirit vs Oval Invincibles, Women's Hundred, Lord's, July 25, 2021

Alice Capsey top scored for Oval Invincibles  •  Getty Images

Oval Invincibles 132 for 7 (Capsey 59) beat London Spirit 117 for 7 (Knight 40, van Niekerk 3-30) by 15 runs
An early feature of the Hundred has been young, uncapped English players making a name for themselves and Alice Capsey continued that trend at Lord's. Capsey, Oval Invincibles' 16-year-old opening batter, hit 10 fours in a composed innings of 59 from 41 balls to lead her side to 132, which they defended with ease.
The Invincibles struggled early, slipping to 29 for 3 after 29 balls, but Capsey's partnership of 80 with captain Dane van Niekerk led their rebuilding job before some lower-order hitting at the death got them up to a score that looked slightly above par.
In the chase, the Spirit never got going, with Heather Knight's 40 the only innings of note. Shabnim Ismail was the pick of the attack, conceding only 15 runs from her 20 balls - which featured 14 dots - while van Niekerk took three wickets with her slow legbreaks. Dani Gibson's lusty hitting at the death made the margin of defeat look significantly tighter than it had felt, with the Invincibles cruising to victory in the first London derby of the Lord's double-header.
Classy Capsey
Capsey hit the first ball she faced on the Hundred's opening night for four over mid-off, and repeated the trick with a thump over mid-on from a Naomi Dattani full toss. She displayed her confidence when skipping down to loft Knight inside-out over extra cover following the three early wickets, and crashed consecutive fours off Charlie Dean's offspin with a loft down the ground followed by a reverse-sweep.
She reached fifty with a clip down the ground off Deepti Sharma following consecutive boundaries off her, sweeping and whipping through the leg side, before picking out deep backward square leg looking to accelerate at the death. Her dominant bottom hand gives her remarkable power, and she was comfortable driving the pace of the innings as van Niekerk struggled for rhythm.
Capsey will return to school to finish her A-Levels next year but looks nailed on for a professional contract when she finishes. "I did regional tennis and picked cricket over tennis," she told Sky Sports. "It's really good for the women's game. Younger people can aspire to be out here and I definitely didn't have that."
Knight's lone hand
With the vast majority of England's home games at smaller county grounds, Knight had not played at Lord's since the 2017 World Cup final and looked in fine touch during the chase. Her innings of 40 off 29 was the only noteworthy contribution with the bat for the Spirit, attacking against van Niekerk and Dani Gregory's legspin, but nobody managed to stay with her for long enough for it to get them close.
Ismail had set the tone in her first spell, rushing batters for pace and hitting 77mph/124kph with the fastest ball of the tournament to date, while Tash Farrant and van Niekerk both struck twice in as many balls. The Invincibles were generally impressive in the field despite a couple of mishaps, with Fran Wilson's direct hit running Deepti Sharma out, Grace Gibbs taking two good catches in the deep and sub fielder Eva Gray taking a steepler to get Dattani.
Magic Mady
Mady Villiers' first professional appearance at Lord's could not have gone much better. She strode out to bat at No. 6 and slog-swept her first ball over the square-leg fielder for the innings' only six. In the chase, she removed Deandra Dottin - caught by Grace Gibbs after top-edging a sweep - with her first ball to leave the Spirit 19 for 1 after 26. Her first 15 balls cost only eight runs before Gibson's slogging took the shine off her figures.
Injured Invincibles
While this was an impressive win for the Invincibles, who continue to live up to their moniker, there are concerns for later in the tournament. Marizanne Kapp, one of the stars of their opening-night win, missed this game due to a minor hip flexor injury, while Ismail spent much of the run chase off the field getting treatment after wincing in pain towards the end of her third set of five balls. They coped well with the absence of one overseas player but dealing without two will prove difficult.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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

The Hundred Women's Competition