LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Southern Brave won the inaugural Hundred competition on Saturday, comfortably beating Birmingham Phoenix in the men’s final at a packed Lord’s after Oval Invincibles won the women’s crown.
After a month of thrills and spills in the new 100-ball format that has proved popular with the fans, the men’s final was denied the thrilling climax it deserved.
Southern Brave scored 168-5 from their 100 balls with a bludgeoning 61 from Paul Stirling in 36 balls, while Ross Whiteley smashed 44 from 19 balls late on.
Phoenix never really got going in reply, however, after opener David Bedingham went for a duck and Will Smeed for two.
Liam Livingstone gave them some hope as he struck four sixes in a rapid-fire 46 but when he was run out it was a tall order for Phoenix who ended up on 136-5.
The Hundred was launched to attract a younger audience with eight city-based teams competing over five weeks.
The women’s competition has received equal billing with the men’s, and Oval Invincibles took the title as they beat Southern Brave on Saturday by 48 runs in front of 17,000 fans. After setting a target of 122, the Brave were bowled out for 73 with Marizanne Kapp taking three wickets.
“It is so historical and special,” Invincibles skipper Dane Van Niekerk said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to take in playing here. It was a childhood dream to play a final here and win it. It is special.” (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)