the hundred | The atmosphere was electric and the crowd carried us back, admits Dane van Niekerk

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After a historic night, Oval Invincibles skipper Dane van Niekerk admitted that the atmosphere in the Oval was electric and insisted that the crowd wear them in the back of their innings. Meanwhile, Kate Cross declared that regardless of the outcome, they were history makers on Wednesday.

All the hype surrounding England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s brainchild ‘The Hundred’ was put to the test on Wednesday, in the opening game between the Manchester Originals and the Oval Invincibles. From the start, the fixture read an electric, sparkling display of cricket, with neither side giving the slightest space for the other, with the crowd behind their backs.

Despite Lizelle Lee and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 42 and 29, the Manchester Originals finished with a total of 135, with 1.35 RPB. Although Kate Cross struck early to put a dagger in the Invincibles batting order, skipper Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp ensured that the Invincibles continued to live up to their name.

In the presentation after the game, Van Niekerk admitted that the atmosphere was incredible and electric. She also insisted that the crowd was responsible for carrying them to the back of their innings, where they won the game with two balls left.

“I was just really happy that the first game of the Hundred was so entertaining,” said Van Niekerk, ESPNCricinfo reported.

“A little more stressful than we wanted, but it was nice to show the public something and I hope everyone had a good time. It was electric, it was unbelievable. The crowd carried us back,” she added ready.

She also hoped, however, that the audience at the Oval would see it as a game of cricket, requiring the utmost skill, rather than a 100-ball game.

“I hope people have seen it’s still cricket, it’s just a little bit shorter and a little bit faster, but the skill is still there, it’s still exciting. One hundred balls is one hundred balls, but it’s still becoming cricket and I hope everyone was as entertained as we were.”

Although Cross ended up on the losing side, she was left stunned by both teams’ display, which stated that regardless of the result, they finished as history makers on Wednesday night.

“A lot has been learned while we are there, but I said to the girls, tonight my biggest thing was first and foremost, enjoy everything. Enjoy the crowd, enjoy the opportunity, because we made history. Regardless of the result. I said that’s irrelevant, we’re history makers,” Cross said.

“It was just a great night for women’s cricket, it felt like it was almost a perfect night for what the tournament was to open. I’m absolutely buzzing, I don’t think I’ll be sleeping tonight,” she concluded.

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