Marizanne Kapp holds nerve for Invincibles as Alana King, Bryony Smith threaten Rockets miracle
Visitors stumble over line in 113-run chase as spinners apply the brake
Adam Dosunmu Slater
Oval Invincibles 115 for 5 (Bates 41, Kapp 34*) beat Trent Rockets 112 for 9 (Sciver 59*) by five wickets
All-rounder Marizanne Kapp starred as Oval Invincibles beat Trent Rockets by five wickets with a ball to spare at Trent Bridge after Bryony Smith almost pulled off a miracle at the end.
The Rockets' small target of 112, helped by Nat Sciver's 59 not out off 48 balls, seemed like it would not be enough as Suzie Bates, 41 from 32, and Alice Capsey, 24 from 18, put the Invincibles well ahead of the rate.
The visitors had victory in sight before Smith (three for 21), tasked with defending just five from the last 10 deliveries, saw her first eight leg breaks take two wickets for just three runs. It would be South African Kapp, 34 from 27, who held her nerve, hitting the winning runs.
Last year's fixture was washed out meaning this was the first match between the sides in the competition. The weather threatened again with grey clouds overhead and the floodlights on. Feeling the conditions would be in their favour Invincibles captain, Bates chose to bowl.
The Rockets made a good start, Smith the only casualty of the powerplay, leaving them 27 for one. With 51 at halfway and eight wickets in hand, the Rockets looked set to post their highest total of the year.
The measly Eva Gray, who had earlier seen Sciver dropped, bowled South African Mignon du Preez to shift the momentum back. But with Sciver there the Rockets still had a chance of a big score. All she needed was a partner to boost the innings but it never came.
Instead, the Rockets lost three wickets in four balls. Alana King and Marie Kelly fell to the 85th and 86th balls. Sciver almost fell from the 88th, Capsey dropping a caught-and-bowled chance but the falling ball hit the stumps to run out Katherine Brunt at the non-striker's end.
The Rockets never recovered from the blip and ended up posting a below-par 112 for eight, thanks to tight bowling from Kapp's one for 18 and the impressive Gray, two for 16.
In reply, the Invincibles' captain, Bates showed the positive intent the Rockets' innings lacked. The New Zealander swept Sciver for six and found the boundary with ease, to leave her side well ahead at 33 for one from the powerplay.
The leg-spin of King and Sarah Glenn could not stop the tide, with a six from youngster Capsey taking the rate to under a run a ball after 33 deliveries. The pair would continue to clear the rope off the spinners, something the Rockets failed to do once in their innings.
At 70 for one at halfway, the Invincibles were cruising. That all changed when Capsey fell going for another six off Glenn. Bates was next to go, dismissed by Glenn four balls later, to give the Rockets a sniff.
The next set of 10 bowled by King conceded zero runs bringing huge roars from the Trent Bridge crowd and left the Invincibles needing 33 from the final 30.
Some timely boundaries from Kapp gave the Invincibles just five needed from the final 10. But the game turned again, as Smith's magic threatened an unlikely win before Kapp struck another boundary to finish the game.
Adam Dosunmu Slater is an ECB Hundred Rising Reporter