Lauren Winfield-Hill and Suzie Bates' 104-run stand lasted 67 balls; Alice Capsey secured the win with four consecutive boundaries; watch Southern Brave vs London Spirit on Friday, with the women's fixture live on Sky Sports from 2:30pm, followed by the men's game at 6pm
Friday 12 August 2022 16:28, UK
Oval Invincibles secured a record-run-chase victory over Northern Superchargers with Lauren Winfield-Hill's 74no off 42 balls proving the key as the women's Hundred competition got under way.
In the second match of The Hundred's first double-header of 2022 at the Kia Oval, the Invincibles claimed a storming win as they eased to their record 144-victory target, the Superchargers' bowlers unable to find answers to the 67-ball, 104-run partnership of Winfield-Hill and Suzie Bates.
After the Invincibles opted to bowl first, it was Laura Wolvaardt and Jemimah Rodrigues who stood up early with the bat for the visitors after they lost Alyssa Healy, Bess Heath and Hollie Armitage early on, captain Armitage being dismissed for just one run from three balls as Shabnim Ismail bowled her cleanly.
Rodrigues had an eventful couple of balls which were the defining moments of her performance, reaching her half-century - hitting 51 off 32 balls with eight boundaries - before going the aerial route just one ball later to be caught by Alice Capsey coming in off the boundary in what was to be the first moment in an 18th birthday to remember for the Invincibles youngster.
With Rodrigues dismissed, it was time for Wolvaardt to steady the ship and with 20 balls remaining she upped the ante, hitting 22 runs and finishing her batting performance with a six followed by a four as she totalled six boundaries in her 49 to guide her side to a score of 143-5.
The Invincibles got their reply off to a flying start as they reached a quick 22 from 10 balls, a four followed by a six from Winfield-Hill showing the immediate intent from the opening pair.
After an electric start from Winfield-Hill and Bates, Katie Levick and Alice Davidson-Richards stood up well with the ball, taking the power away from the right-handed batters and allowing them to only find singles.
However, the former Supercharger, Winfield-Hill, fought back and regained her ferocity, finding her first boundary since the 28th ball 19 balls later to leave the Invincibles needing 75 runs with 50 deliveries to go.
With the Superchargers unable to break the partnership, the opening pair continued their domination and off just 30 balls, Winfield-Hill reached a half-century that included four fours and a six.
It took 67 balls but Northern Superchargers finally took a wicket as Bates sent it high and Wolvaardt positioned herself well under it, denying the opener a 50 as she walked from the field after hitting a brilliant 46 off 33 balls.
Despite dismissing one of the big hitters, the Superchargers just could not find the answers and Capsey got in on the act as she sealed the deal with four consecutive boundaries, finishing on 25no from just eight balls.
Winfield-Hill said: "It was great fun. I think I had to work quite hard for my runs.
"Obviously the Superchargers girls know me so well and close down all my strengths so I feel like I was just making up shots as I went along that I hadn't played for years.
"But it was nice to bat with Suze (Bates) and get the first win on the board.
"I am really lucky, I spread my wings and came down here to a new team and the staff and the girls have just been awesome.
"I have enjoyed it from day one and they have made me feel really welcome so I feel like I can be nice and relaxed and just play.
"I feel in a really good place with my cricket at the minute, I am really enjoying this new environment, batting at the Oval, there are worse places to bat for sure so really good."
Oval Invincibles captain Dane van Niekerk: "I couldn't have stripped it better myself.
"It was a bit frantic at the start, especially with some of the debutantes and the young ones, it can be a bit daunting, especially the crowd and stuff, I was waving my hands a lot.
"But they came through really well and the batting, what can I say?
"That was a clinical performance and we couldn't have asked for better."
Friday sees the Southern Brave welcome the London Spirit to The Ageas Bowl. Build up on Sky Sports The Hundred, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event begins at 2:30pm ahead of the first ball at 3pm in the women's fixture.
The men's fixture will take place afterwards, with coverage at 6pm. You can also watch the match via our a free live stream on skysports.com, the Sky Sports App and the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel.
Watch every match from The Hundred this summer live on Sky Sports. The competition continues on Friday with Southern Brave up against the London Spirit, the women's match live from 2:30pm followed by the men's fixture at 6pm.
Tickets for The Hundred are selling fast! If you want to be part of the action, go to thehundred.com/tickets