Invincibles march into the final as their pace-trio too good for Phoenix in the eliminator

Invincibles march into the final as their pace-trio too good for Phoenix in the eliminator

Marizane Kapp, Natasha Farrant, Shabnim Ismail © Getty Images

Defending a sub-par total in a must-win game, some incredible bowling from the pace trio - Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail and Natasha Farrant - helped the Oval Invincibles beat Birmingham Phoenix by 20 runs at Edgbaston on Friday (August 20). They will face Southern Brave in the final of the first season of The Hundred on Saturday.

Chasing a sub-par total in a must-win game, Phoenix were in for a shocker as Kapp got rid of Katie Mack with an outswinger off the very third delivery. Not bothered by the dismissal, Amy Jones started her innings with a gorgeous cover drive. She followed it up with a pull shot off Ismail and another flick off Kapp to keep the innings going.

However, Kapp, relentless as always, struck again as she dismissed Evelyn Jones for a first-ball duck. Erin Burns, who walked in at number four, started with a pull to the square-leg boundary. With Amy, she kept the scorecard moving for the Phoenix. Amy was the aggressor in the partnership, picking up the crucial boundaries. Burns was more than happy to play second fiddle to her skipper.

The duo put on a 52-run stand off just 37 balls. With 49 runs required from 51 balls, it seemed like the Phoenix are running away with the game. However, Farrant had other ideas. The left-arm seamer took a stunning catch at mid-off to get rid of Burns, and off the very next delivery, she dismissed Amy and brought the Invincibles back in the game. All of a sudden, the Phoenix were down to 66 for four.

With two new batters in the middle, van Niekerk and Co. bowled tight lines, building the pressure. The Invincibles skipper topped it up with a sharp return catch to dismiss Marie Kelly. Ismail followed it with the wicket of Issy Wong. Farrant took the crucial wicket of Gwen Davies with a slower delivery and sealed the game for the Invincibles. She finished with four for ten, registering the best figures of the tournament as the Phoenix were all out for 94. The Invincibles won by 20 runs. 

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After opting bowl, Phoenix struck early, thanks to a DRS decision, and Georgia Adams was back in the pavilion as she nicked Wong behind to Amy. Invincibles skipper van Niekerk did not last long. She hit one off Emily Arlott straight into the hands of Kelly at mid-on. They were down to 15 for two.

Joined by Kapp, Fran Wilson tried to build a partnership. Together, they added 21 runs from 20 balls, with Wilson contributing 16 runs. She smashed back-to-back boundaries off Wong to get her innings going. However, Kirstie Gordon took a brilliant return catch to dismiss Wilson. 

Kapp, who took some time to settle, launched a counter-attack along with Alice Capsey. She drove Gordon through covers, clobbered Wong over long-on and followed it up with a pull in front of the square. Capsey, at the other end, reverse-swept Gordon and lofted Abtaha Maqsood over mid-off. 

They added 54 runs off 44 deliveries before Kapp got out for a run-a-ball 37. With Capsey getting run out for 27 from 20 balls, Invincibles went from 99 for three to 105 for seven. They eventually finished with 114 runs in 100 balls. Gordon was the pick of the bowler for Phoenix, taking two wickets for 22 runs. 

Brief Scores: Oval Invincibles 114/7 (Marizanne Kapp 37; Kirstie Gordon 2/22) beat Birmingham Phoenix 94 all out in 94 balls (Amy Jones 35; Natasha Farrant 4/10) by 20 runs

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