Will Jacks bludgeoned the highest ever score in the Hundred to guide Oval Invincibles to their third straight victory as they beat Southern Brave by seven wickets.
Jacks, who struck 81 in his previous game against Welsh Fire, bettered that effort with a brutal assault on the Brave bowlers at the Oval – hammering an unbeaten 108 from 48 balls to overtake Will Smeed’s 101 for Birmingham Phoenix four days earlier.
The 23-year-old’s innings included eight sixes and 10 fours as the Invincibles coasted home with 18 deliveries unused. It meant a third successive defeat for the inaugural Hundred champions, who laboured to 137 for six against some tight Invincibles bowling – a total that never looked sufficient to defend.
With the south London skies beginning to look overcast, the Invincibles opted to bowl first. That faith was rewarded as Reece Topley struck an early double blow, with Quinton de Kock superbly caught by Rilee Roussouw racing in from the boundary and Alex Davies playing on in the left-armer’s next set.
Marcus Stoinis raised the tempo by pummelling Sam Curran for what turned out to be the only two sixes of the innings as he reached 37 from 27, but the all-rounder succumbed to Mohammad Hasnain’s first delivery, top-edging into the hands of long-off.
James Vince, who shared a partnership of 55 from 43 with Stoinis, looked unusually subdued in his 15 from 22 and, despite a few destructive shots by Tim David (22 from 17) the Brave innings never really gained momentum.
Topley (three for 24) returned to have David caught miscuing a straight drive, but it was Sunil Narine and Tom Curran who really stifled the batters, conceding only 35 between them although both went wicketless.
There was no relief for Jason Roy when the Invincibles launched their chase – the opener’s wretched run of form extended to a third duck in four innings as he was castled second ball by George Garton’s inswinger.
By contrast, Jacks has been in excellent nick and he began by slamming Michael Hogan for two enormous sixes – one of which sailed right out of the ground – before subjecting Stoinis to a similar fate.
Roussouw was required to do little more than admire from the non-striker’s end as the pair put on 56 from 37 – a stand eventually ended by a piece of fielding brilliance from David, scything down the stumps with a direct hit from mid-off to run out the left-hander.
That wicket made little difference to the course of the game and, although Sam Billings fell to a fine diving catch by Vince at mid-off, Jacks brought up his hundred by smashing Rehan Ahmed for six – and gave the next ball identical treatment to seal victory.
Champions beaten by Brave
Georgia Adams, Danni Wyatt and Amanda-Jade Wellington led Southern Brave to a 12-run victory over reigning champions Oval Invincibles in a repeat of last year’s Hundred final.
Adams had won the competition with Invincibles last year, but on Sunday donned the green of Brave to secure a measure of revenge for the away side at the Kia Oval. Taking two for 16, Adams was supported by Wyatt (two for 16) and Wellington (one for 33) as Invincibles were restricted to 141 for seven. Another spinner, Sophia Dunkley, also chipped in with a wicket as the hosts fell shy of Brave’s 153.
Mandhana and opening partner Wyatt made it look very easy in the afternoon sunshine in south London, scoring a series of spectacular boundaries on their way to 41 from the powerplay.
A shift in momentum came though when impressive young Welsh spinner Sophia Smale entered the fray and had Wyatt stumped for 14 in her second set as the opening stand was ended at 63. Mandhana departed shortly after – this time stumped off the bowling of Mady Villiers – and with that came a gear change in favour of Invincibles.
A late flourish from Adams (18) and Freya Kemp (24) lifted Brave’s score, before both were run out thanks to sharp fielding from Invincibles. There was a third run-out on the final ball.
Adams haunted her former teammates on her return to the Oval, claiming the key wickets of the dangerous Lauren Winfield-Hill (25) and Kapp (19). Ryana Macdonald-Gay hit two huge sixes on her way to an eye-catching 19, but it proved too little too late for the home side.
Northern Superchargers claimed their first victory of this year’s Women’s Hundred as they edged out London Spirit by five runs at Headingley. Spirit’s pursuit of 127 for four was derailed when they lost two wickets in as many balls as star opener Beth Mooney was run out before Danielle Gibson top-edged Alice Davidson-Richards to fine leg.
The Superchargers continued to take wickets at key times to leave Spirit needing 13 off the final five and despite an excellent effort from Sophie Luff the visitors fell short.
Earlier, Bess Heath had hit a superb 57 off 34 deliveries featuring 10 boundaries, digging her side out of trouble to set a target of 128