Oval Invincibles keep up their winning streak at The Hundred

Cricket Wednesday August 30, 2023 By: Sam Marsden

Having won the women’s competition in each of the first two editions, the Oval Invincibles were able to maintain their winning run at The Hundred with a dominant performance to secure their first men’s title. Meanwhile, the women’s competition continued to bring in record-breaking crowds as the Southern Brave blew away the competition to lift the trophy.

Glory for the Oval Invincibles and Southern Brave

In an edition of The Hundred that saw more close finishes and showcased the depth of talent the UK has to offer, it was the Oval Invincibles who made the short trip across the Thames to Lord’s to secure their first men’s title – and third in total for the franchise having won both the first two titles in the women’s competition.

Helped by a strong core of players who share a dressing room during the county cricket season with Surrey, the franchise based in South London were head and shoulders above the rest of competition in the league stage but found themselves in trouble at 34-5 in the final against the Manchester Originals. However, a strong partnership between Tom Curran and Jimmy Neesham led the fight back for the Invincibles who won the title with a 14-run victory.

The Southern Brave also outclassed the rest of their competition on the way to winning the women’s competition. Having already lost two finals the Brave looked to be on a mission to go one better right from the outset of the tournament, recording 7 wins out of their 8 matches in the group stage.

Danni Wyatt led the way ruthlessly with the bat in the final before Lauren Bell and Kalea Moore both took three wickets to ensure they made no mistake this time on the way to lifting the trophy at the Northen Supercharger’s expense.

With ticket sales, TV audiences and online views all up this year and England’s star players all backing the benefits of the franchise competition, the 2023 edition has enjoyed greater success on and off the pitch in what was arguably the most enjoyable campaign of The Hundred to date.

An edition of The Hundred full of standout performances

As a whole the tournament was able to showcase the depth of elite talent that England have at their disposal heading into a hectic 12 months of cricket that includes a Cricket World Cup, a T20 World Cup and multiple Test Series’.

Harry Brook – who had been left out of England’s World Cup squad just days before – played arguably the standout innings of this year’s tournament. A destructive 105 not out off just 42 balls was an extraordinary summary of the talent the 24-year-old possess and offered fans in attendance another glimpse into the exciting future of English cricket.

The incredible display, however, was not enough to keep his team the Northern Superchargers from finishing bottom, just behind the London Spirit who slumped to seventh after a poor start and a couple of games washed out by rain.

England’s white-ball captain Jos Buttler also continued to lead by example as he ended the competition as the leading run scorer with the Manchester Originals. With a total of 391 runs he set a new record for most runs in a season and will be hoping to keep that form going into the World Cup this October.

In the bowling department, his teammate Calvin Harrison stole the show with the best bowling figures recorded in the men’s Hundred when he took 5-11 to help the Originals finish second.

Meanwhile the Southern Brave had an unforgettable season in the bowling departments. All-rounder Georgia Adams finished comfortably above any other bowler in the women’s competition, taking 16 wickets on the way to winning the title. In the men’s competition Tymal Mill also impressed with his pace bowling and effective variations. His breathtaking hat trick for the Brave against the Welsh Fire was the highlight of an exceptional season in which he ended on top of the men’s wicket taking column too.

What’s up next on the calendar?

Following the conclusion of The Hundred, England now turn their attention to preparing for October’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup with important T20 and ODI series’ against New Zealand.

England announced their provisional team for the 2023 World Cup with the notable inclusion of Ben Stokes who has come back out of one-day retirement to play at the World Cup in India this Autumn.

Spectators view from the stands at Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord’s Cricket Ground will host the final ODI between England and New Zealand on Friday 15 September

The news did stir some debate amongst fans due to the omission of Harry Brook to make way for England’s star man, meaning all eyes will be on the performances of Stokes and the rest of the English batting line-up.

Elsewhere in the squad Joe Root helped his cause for being included in the ODI team with some impressive performances in The Hundred – including an impressive unbeaten 72 for the Trent Rockets at Lord’s against London Spirit. Looking to make his mark within England’s white ball setup, the legendary Yorkshire batsman also enjoyed a spell with the Rajasthan Royals at the IPL in the spring and looks to be in good touch just at the right time.

Sam Curran, Jason Roy and England’s surprise pick Gus Atkinson all come out of The Hundred full of confidence too having been a part of the victorious Oval Invincibles side. Along with the backbone of the England squad, including Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, they will be looking to entertain fans once again across country at venues such as Emirates Old Trafford, Lord’s and The Kia Oval against New Zealand. 

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