The Hundred: Alice Capsey, Will Smeed and Lauren Bell among the tournament’s breakout stars


The Hundred final is upon us.

There have been thrills, spills and some stand-out performances.

BBC Sport looks at six of those who began the tournament as lesser-known players and leave having made a name for themselves on the big stage.

Alice Capsey

We start with the youngest player in The Hundred.

Aged 16 (she turned 17 during this tournament!), she opened the batting at Lord’s and scored a half-century for her Oval Invincibles side. She hasn’t hit the same heights since, scoring 73 runs across her other six innings but remains one of the most talked-about teenagers in the country.

She has also taken a useful seven wickets with her spin.

“She’s been ridiculous,” Invincibles captain Dane van Niekerk told BBC Sport.

“The age – the closest person I have worked with at that age was Laura Wolvaardt, they are so mature beyond their years. You don’t realise how young they are. Capsey has been incredible. I think she has a massive future. That fearlessness just freaks me out.”

Future prospects: We must not put too much pressure on her too soon but, with people already talking about her playing for England, an international call-up seems a matter of when not if.

Will Smeed

From the youngest player overall to the youngest men’s player.

Will Smeed, 19, only came into the tournament as a late injury replacement, having impressed in the Twenty20 Blast for Somerset. He was left out of Birmingham Phoenix’s first three games but once given his chance has not looked back.

Smeed has scored 164 runs and has a strike-rate of 182.22 runs per 100 balls – the highest of anyone in the competition (minimum 100 balls faced).

The fast starts he has given the Phoenix has gone a long way to taking them to Saturday’s final.

“Smeedy has been unbelievable,” said Phoenix captain Liam Livingstone. “For a young lad to come in in his first franchise tournament and to play as fearlessly as he has, has been phenomenal.”

Future prospects: Smeed will go back to Somerset and now be expected to play a more senior role but don’t be surprised if teams in global franchise leagues come calling.

Harry Brook

There have been whispers about Harry Brook since he scored a century for Yorkshire against Essex as a 19-year-old but this tournament brought him to the attention of the wider public.

Now 22, the hard-hitting Northern Superchargers batter made a stunning 62 from 31 balls in his opening game – almost snatching an unlikely victory for his side against Welsh Fire – and he followed that with scores of 38 and 47 not out.

In the end he only played five games because of illness but still finished fifth on the run-scorers’ list.

After his Fire innings his captain Ben Stokes, the England all-rounder, said: “He is not scared of any situation, he is not frightened of any bowler and he just sticks to what works for him.

“That is exactly what we try and create in the England team so I don’t think it will be too long before we see him wearing the Three Lions.”

Future prospects: Well who are we to argue with Ben Stokes? Brook is a former England Under-19s captain and his performances suggest he could get a debut for the senior side.

Lauren Bell

If strong favourites Southern Brave win the title on Saturday, 20-year-old Lauren Bell could be in with a shout of player of the tournament.

The tall pace bowler, who plays for Southern Vipers domestically, has swung the new ball and taken 10 wickets – three more than her captain Anya Shrubsole.

They have been big wickets too with Nat Sciver, Hayley Matthews, Sarah Taylor and Jemimah Rodrigues among her victims.

“Everyone knows about her new ball bowling but for us she’s been brilliant through the middle and back end and picked up loads of wickets there, “Shrubsole said.

“Previously, people might have said that wasn’t necessarily her strength but for her to pick up the ball and do that, she’s been a huge part of our team.”

Future prospects: A first England cap will surely come soon, possibly as soon as the white-ball series against New Zealand which starts on 1 September.

Eve Jones

At 29, Eve Jones is a relative veteran on this list but The Hundred has been her breakthrough month on the big stage.

Jones was awarded one of the new professional women’s contracts last year and the extra focus on cricket that allows – she also worked as a coach and a tutor – has seen her go from strength to strength.

Her performance for Phoenix in an effective winner-takes-all match against Northern Superchargers stands out. She scored 64 and took a brilliant, match-winning catch.

She sits joint-third on the tournament run-scorers list with 233.

“She has just improved so much,” said England World Cup winner and Manchester Originals spinner Alex Hartley.

Future prospects: Jones played for England’s academy but is yet to make her senior debut. Her Hundred performances show she is ready to make the step up and her assuredness suggests she could do so in any format.

Jake Lintott

Jake Lintott is another who is more experienced in terms of age at least.

The 28-year-old’s brilliant Hundred – he is Brave’s leading wicket-taker with 10 wickets – caps a remarkable rise from club cricketer to big-stage match-winner.

He is another who was only called up late after a withdrawal and still works at a college, having began the year without a county contract.

Lintott – a left-arm wrist spinner who Carlos Brathwaite dubbed the “Jamie Vardy of cricket”- has suffocated and dismissed a number of high-class batters during The Hundred.

Future prospects: Linott’s exploits have already got him a place in this year’s Caribbean Super League. More T20 leagues may follow and, while England duty feels a way off, who knows? Vardy managed it…

And finally…

Southern Brave’s Maia Bouchier stats – an average of 42.50 but a high score of just 33 not out – may not leap out but the 22-year-old batter received such praise from the tournament’s big names we had to include her in this list.

Maybe she could make her mark on the final?

“I’m a massive fan of Maia Bouchier,” her captain Shrubsole said. “I think she’s a seriously good player.

“She hasn’t necessarily had loads of opportunity so far in this tournament but every time she has batted, she’s been brilliant. I would love to see her playing for England.”

Jemimah Rodrigues, the India and Superchargers batter, said: “Smriti [Southern Brave and India batter Smriti Mandhana] talks about players a lot but she has been telling me that Jemi, this girl is going to play for England soon, she’s really good.”



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