Sports

The Hundred – women’s preview: Southern Brave look the team to beat in 2022 competition


It is perhaps no surprise that a team called Invincibles won the first edition of The Hundred.

Dane van Niekerk’s Oval Invincibles triumphed in the women’s competition last season, beating Southern Brave by 48 runs in the the final at Lord’s.

As Invincibles gear up for their title defence, which begins at home to Northern Superchargers on Thursday evening, we run the rule over all eight teams looking to take the trophy in 2022…

Tickets for The Hundred are selling fast! If you want to be part of the action, go to thehundred.com/tickets

Invincibles vs Superchargers

August 11, 2022, 6:00pm

Live on

Birmingham Phoenix

Last year’s finish: Third (lost to Oval Invincibles in the eliminator)
First game: vs Welsh Fire (Saturday August 13, 2.30pm)
Home ground: Edgbaston
Head coach: Ben Sawyer

Overseas players: Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Sophie Molineux (Australia), Deepti Sharma (India)

Rest of squad: Amy Jones (captain), Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Issy Wong, Eve Jones, Emily Arlott, Gwen Davies, Abtaha Maqsood, Ria Fackrell, Phoebe Franklin, Sterre Kalis, Davina Perrin

Players to watch: There’s few more destructive top-order batters in the world than New Zealand’s Sophie Devine, while all-rounder Ellyse Perry is one of a number of Australia’s world champions – in both the 50-over and T20 formats – who are set to light up The Hundred this season, fresh, too, from their Commonwealth Games gold at the weekend.

England fast bowler Issy Wong burst onto the scene as a teenager last season and has since gone on to make her international debut in all three formats this summer.

Keep an eye out for a similarly stratospheric rise from 15-year-old batter Davina Perrin this season – the youngest player in the tournament. Don’t be fooled by her age, this girl can belt the ball a long way!

Issy Wong has become a key player for England across all forms

Issy Wong has become a key player for England across all forms

Prospects for this season: Phoenix were perhaps a surprise qualifier for the eliminator last year, just edging out London Spirit into third with a better net run-rate before losing out to eventual winners, Oval Invincibles. Likely to slip under the radar again, but this well-balanced squad should challenge near the top end of the table.

London Spirit

Last year’s finish: Fourth in group stage
First game: vs Southern Brave (Friday August 12, 3pm)
Home ground: Lord’s
Head coach: Trevor Griffin

Overseas players: Beth Mooney (Australia), Megan Schutt (Australia), Amelia Kerr (New Zealand), Jess Kerr (New Zealand)

Rest of squad: Freya Davies, Sophie Luff, Charlie Dean, Danielle Gibson, Amara Carr, Naomi Dattani, Grace Scrivens, Alice Monaghan, Natasha Wraith, Grace Ballinger, Nancy Harman, Chloe Brewer

Players to watch: The bowling attack looks particularly strong, led by Australia’s Megan Schutt, with England fast bowler Freya Davies and off-spinner Charlie Dean also added to the mix. New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr is also a very talented leg-spinner.

As for the batting, much will be expected, and needed, from Australian star Beth Mooney, with the Spirit’s reserves looking a little thin on the ground.

Charlie Dean is a vital member of the London Spirit bowling attack

Charlie Dean is a vital member of the London Spirit bowling attack

Prospects for this season: The loss of captain Heather Knight to injury is a huge blow. As are the departures of star England batter Tammy Beaumont to Welsh Fire and overseas stars Deandra Dottin and Deepti Sharma to Manchester Originals and Birmingham Phoenix respectively. It could prove to be a tough tournament for Spirit.

Manchester Originals

Last year’s finish: Fifth in the group stage
First game: vs Trent Rockets (Saturday August 13, 11am)
Home ground: Emirates Old Trafford
Head coach: Paul Shaw

Overseas players: Lizelle Lee (South Africa), Deandra Dottin (West Indies), Amy Satterthwaite (New Zealand), Lea Tahuhu (New Zealand)

Rest of squad: Kate Cross (captain), Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Cordelia Griffith, Hannah Jones, Ami Campbell, Georgie Boyce, Phoebe Graham, Laura Jackson, Grace Potts, Mahika Gaur

Players to watch: There can be no doubt that Sophie Ecclestone is the star of the show up in Manchester. The No 1-ranked T20 bowler in the world continues to dumbfound the world’s best batters with her left-arm spin and it should be no different in The Hundred. Plus, there’s captain Kate Cross – who took an impressive 12 wickets in last year’s tournament – and Sky Sports columnist Phoebe Graham to add to the bowling ranks.

Lizelle Lee is back after finishing as one of the tournament’s top scorers in 2021, the South African amassing 215 runs at an average of 43 across her seven games. Look out for Emma Lamb as well. She not only made her England debut this year but scored her maiden international century in just her third one-day international.

Kate Cross will captain Manchester Originals once again

Kate Cross will captain Manchester Originals once again

Prospects for this season: A slow start out of the gates scuppered the Originals last season as they lost three of their first four – the other match being abandoned due to rain. If they can avoid that this time round, they look to have plenty of firepower across all disciplines to see them challenge at the top end of the table.

Northern Superchargers

Last year’s finish: Sixth in the group stage
First game: vs Oval Invincibles (Thursday August 11, 6.30pm)
Home ground: Headingley
Head coach: Danielle Hazell

Overseas players: Jemimah Rodrigues (India), Alyssa Healy (Australia), Heather Graham (Australia), Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa)

Rest of squad: Jenny Gunn, Linsey Smith, Alice Davidson-Richards, Hollie Armitage, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Bess Heath, Kalea Moore, Liz Russell, Lucy Higham, Bethany Harmer, Rachel Slater

Players to watch: Superchargers possess a gun top order with last year’s second-highest run-getter, Jemimah Rodrigues, paired with Laura Wolvaardt once again and Australia’s Alyssa Healy joining the side.

Healy had a lean Commonwealth Games, mustering just 48 runs across five innings for the tournament winners. That won’t have gone unnoticed by bowlers, but you sense someone who struck 170 from 138 balls in this year’s 50-over World Cup final against England won’t remain quiet for long.

Sky Sports Cricket's Mark Butcher performed a duet with the multi-talented Jemimah Rodrigues last season

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports Cricket’s Mark Butcher performed a duet with the multi-talented Jemimah Rodrigues last season

Sky Sports Cricket’s Mark Butcher performed a duet with the multi-talented Jemimah Rodrigues last season

Bowling-wise, Superchargers may lack the star names of some of the other sides, although Linsey Smith, Katie Levick and Kalea Moore form a fine spin trio and, on the seam front, former England player Jenny Gunn will take part this year having been assistant coach last season. Current England star Alice Davidson-Richards could also be a key cog with bat and ball.

Prospects for this season: There look to be stronger all-round squads but a play-off push should not be beyond Superchargers if their overseas batters star. Lauren Winfield-Hill’s departure could be felt, though – the England opener has left to join defending champions Invincibles.

Oval Invincibles

Last year’s finish: Winners (beat Southern Brave in the final)
First game: vs Northern Superchargers (Thursday August 11, 6.30pm)
Home ground: The Kia Oval
Head coach: Jonathan Batty

Overseas players: Dane van Niekerk (South Africa, captain), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa), Suzie Bates (New Zealand)

Rest of squad: Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Alice Capsey, Aylish Cranstone, Danielle Gregory, Grace Gibbs, Emily Windsor, Eva Gray, Kira Chathili, Sophia Smale, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Kirstie White

Players to watch: Invincibles have one of the best captains (Dane van Niekerk), two of the best seam bowlers (Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail) and one of the hottest prospects (Alice Capsey). They have also bolstered their batting with New Zealand’s Suzie Bates the leading run-scorer in women’s T20I history as well as Lauren Winfield-Hill and Aylish Cranstone, plus retained the sparky Mady Villiers, who will be a threat with her off-spin and with the bat down the order. It’s quite the squad.

Oval Invincibles' Alice Capsey, who turns 18 on Thursday, made her England debut earlier this summer

Oval Invincibles’ Alice Capsey, who turns 18 on Thursday, made her England debut earlier this summer

Van Niekerk topped the run-scoring charts last term in addition to bagging eight wickets, while her wife and fellow South African Kapp took 11 wickets – including 4-9 in the final as Brave were demolished for 73 and 3-21 a day earlier as her side beat Phoenix in the eliminator. Kapp also top-scored for Invincibles in both of those victories, underlining her importance.

However, Kapp has been back home of late for personal reasons and Van Niekerk has not played since November due to an ankle injury, so both could be a little rusty. Invincibles will also be shorn of last season’s leading wicket-taker Tash Farrant due to a stress fracture of the back.

Prospects for this season: There are a few areas of concern, then, but it would be unwise to write off a Van Niekerk-led team, especially one with Capsey in it. The all-rounder, who turns 18 on Thursday, scored 150 runs last season, 59 of which came on her Lord’s debut aged just 16, and also claimed 10 wickets with her off-spin. Now an England international, expect her to help a strong Invincibles group into at least the top three.

Southern Brave

Last year’s finish: Runners-up (lost to Oval Invincibles in the final)
First game: vs London Spirit (Friday August 12, 3pm)
Home ground: The Ageas Bowl
Head coach: Charlotte Edwards

Overseas players: Smriti Mandhana (India), Amanda-Jade Wellington (Australia), Tahlia McGrath (Australia), Molly Strano (Australia)

Rest of squad: Anya Shrubsole (captain), Danni Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Maia Bouchier, Lauren Bell, Carla Rudd, Georgia Adams, Tara Norris, Jo Gardner, Paige Scholfield, Freya Kemp, Ella McCaughan

Players to watch: It will be fascinating to monitor the performances of skipper Anya Shrubsole following the 30-year-old’s international retirement this year. Her Brave squad is flush with young English talent, including batter Sophia Dunkley – one of the success stories from last year – and bowlers Lauren Bell and Freya Kemp.

Southern Brave seamer Lauren Bell took 12 wickets in The Hundred last season

Southern Brave seamer Lauren Bell took 12 wickets in The Hundred last season

There’s also the relentless run-scoring of India top-order batter Smriti Mandhana, while all-rounder Tahlia McGrath is arguably the standout of the Australian triumvirate in the squad. That said, leg-spinner Amanda Jade-Wellington was hugely impressive for the Brave last year, claiming 14 wickets in nine matches – the fourth-best tally in the tournament.

Prospects for this season: The Brave, again, look the ones to beat. Last year they suffered only one defeat in the group stage, comfortably claiming top spot, only to then double that tally with defeat in the final to Oval Invincibles. Will they go one better this year?

Trent Rockets

Last year’s finish: Seventh in group stage
First game: vs Manchester Originals (Saturday August 13, 11am)
Home ground: Trent Bridge
Head coach: Salliann Briggs

Overseas players: Meg Lanning (Australia), Alana King (Australia), Ellyse Villani (Australia), Mignon du Preez (South Africa)

Rest of squad: Nat Sciver (captain), Katherine Brunt, Sarah Glenn, Bryony Smith, Kathryn Bryce, Abbey Freeborn, Marie Kelly, Sophie Munro, Alexa Stonehouse, Georgia Davis, Ella Claridge, Emma Marlow

Players to watch: With Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver joined by the likes of Meg Lanning and Alana King, hopes must be high that Rockets can significantly better last season’s second-bottom finish.

Will Katherine Brunt propel Rockets up the table this season?

Will Katherine Brunt propel Rockets up the table this season?

Brunt, England’s leading T20I wicket-taker, is arguably bowling as well as ever at the age of 37 and will probably be extra fired up by the fact her country were unable to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Skipper Sciver and Australia captain Lanning are the star names in a potentially potent batting line-up, which also includes Kathryn Bryce and the hard-hitting Bryony Smith, while Lanning’s fellow Australian King could form a lethal leg-spin combination with England’s Sarah Glenn.

Prospects for this season: It would be quite the leap for Rockets to go from second bottom into the top three but it’s not out of the question. A lot, though, may rest on how Rockets’ other seam bowlers back up Brunt and Sciver with Australia’s Sammy Jo-Johnson, who bagged 15 wickets last term at an average of 10.26, not here this year.

Watch every ball from The Hundred 2022, live on Sky Sports

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch every ball from The Hundred 2022, live on Sky Sports

Watch every ball from The Hundred 2022, live on Sky Sports

Welsh Fire

Last year’s finish: Eighth in the group stage
First game: vs Birmingham Phoenix (Saturday August 13, 2.30pm)
Home ground: Sophia Gardens Cardiff
Head coach: Gareth Breese

Overseas players: Rachael Haynes (Australia), Annabel Sutherland (Australia), Nicola Carey (Australia), Hayley Matthews (West Indies)

Rest of squad: Tammy Beaumont (captain), Fran Wilson, Katie George, Alex Hartley, Claire Nicholas, Fi Morris, Georgia Hennessy, Alex Griffiths, Sarah Bryce, Hannah Baker, Lauren Filer, Nicole Harvey

Players to watch: The spotlight will be on Tammy Beaumont, who has joined Fire as captain after making the move from London Spirit. The batter will want to prove her leadership credentials and perhaps give England a reminder of how destructive she can be after they left her out of their Commonwealth Games squad in Birmingham.

Tammy Beaumont is the new captain of Welsh Fire

Tammy Beaumont is the new captain of Welsh Fire

Beaumont has been joined in Cardiff by fellow batter Fran Wilson and left-arm spinner Alex Hartley – the former England pair look shrewd acquisitions with Wilson set to slot into the middle order and Hartley remaining a regular wicket-taker on the domestic scene, including when she struck eight times for Originals in The Hundred last season.

West Indies’ Hayley Matthews is another key spinner for Fire – she topped their wicket-taking charts with 11 in 2021 – but will also have a crucial role to play with the bat. Matthews was the fourth-highest run-scorer across all teams in the inaugural campaign with her returns with bat and ball rare bright spots in a season of struggle for Fire.

Prospects for this season: After finishing rock bottom in the last campaign following six defeats from eight, Fire needed freshening up. Beaumont’s captaincy brings a new impetus and her partnership with Matthews could generate plenty of runs, although a play-off charge may be a step too far.

Tickets for The Hundred are selling fast! If you want to be part of the action, go to thehundred.com/tickets



File source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close