The Hundred: Southern Brave underline favourites tag with dominant win over Oval Invincibles

Southern Brave 115-3 (100 balls): Dunkley 58* (39); Farrant 2-22
Oval Invincibles 85 (94 balls): Van Niekerk 31 (32); Wellington 4-12, Bell 3-22
Southern Brave won by 30 runs

Southern Brave underlined why they are favourites for the women’s Hundred title with a dominant 30-run victory over possible final opponents Oval Invincibles.

Brave, who had already secured top spot in the table and a place in the final, needed Sophia Dunkley’s 58 not out to post a competitive 115-3 on a slow pitch at The Ageas Bowl.

But a terrific spell from Australia leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, who took the best figures of the competition with 4-12, saw the Invincibles crumble to a dismal 85 all out off 94 balls.

The Invincibles, who were also sloppy in the field, had already guaranteed second spot and a place in the eliminator, but will need to improve on this showing to stand a chance of winning the tournament.

They will most likely discover their eliminator opponents on Tuesday, when Northern Superchargers face Birmingham Phoenix, though their remains a slim mathematical chance of London Spirit qualifying.

An assured Brave side, who won all but one of their group games, await the winners of Friday’s eliminator in the showpiece at Lord’s on Saturday.

Dunkley’s stellar summer

Making history, headlines and heaps of runs – Dunkley is enjoying a superb summer with the bat.

This was her second 50 in The Hundred and highest score in the competition so far, helping Brave post a competitive total after a sluggish start.

Mainly using her timing and power to target the leg side, she brought up her half-century with a six that thudded into the boundary foam.

In June, she became the first black woman to play Test cricket for England and scored 74 not out on debut against India, also hitting an unbeaten 73 in her first one-day international innings against the same side.

Building on that with her form in The Hundred suggests she can provide England with the middle order support they require for top-order stars Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver.

More to follow.

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