The Hundred finally began, three years after it was initially mooted, in front of an excited crowd at the Oval.
The hosts Oval Invincibles ran out the winners over the Manchester Originals but all eyes were on cricket’s newest format and the controversial innovations that have come with it.
Here, the PA news agency picks out five things that caught the eye on opening night.
Hot Cross fun
Manchester Originals captain Kate Cross was in scorching form, on and off the field. Already one of the game’s most engaging talkers, not to mention co-host of the popular No Balls podcast, she laughed, joked and even sang Lionel Richie in a pre-recorded video package, hyped things vibrantly at the toss and found time to smash The Hundred’s first ever six during a late first-innings cameo. When her chance came with the ball, she found herself on a hat-trick with two wickets in two balls. The 29-year-old was on the losing side but was beaming at the close about playing in front of her biggest ever home crowd.
Starter for 10
Give white cards the red card
As if umpires don’t already have enough on their plates, they have been asked to raise white cards every five balls. This seemed a puzzling and fussy addition to the playing conditions when it was first announced and gained no real clarity in practice. The broadcasters barely paid attention, the crowd would have struggled to see them and the players surely needed no more than the customary shout from the standing official. This is one gimmick that can easily go.