Dane van Niekerk and Mady Villiers of Oval Invincibles celebrate the winning runs during The Hundred match between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals at The Kia Oval
Thousands of ticket sales for the 100-ball competition have seen The Hundred off to a successful start

A terrestrial audience of 1.6 million watched the opening game of The Hundred, making it the most watched women’s cricket match ever televised on the BBC.

In a game streamed live 180,000 times on iPlayer, Invincibles’ captain Dane van Niekerk hit 56 not out, sealing victory with two balls remaining.

The Originals had set the hosts a target of 136 to win.

Broadcast simultaneously on BBC Two and Sky Sports, the peak combined viewing figures of 3.8 million meant the game broke UK viewing records for women’s cricket – surpassing the 1.24 million who watched last week’s England v India T20.

The crowd of 7,395 in attendance at the Oval also broke the modern-day record for a domestic women’s match.

They saw the Invincibles lose four early wickets in their run chase, with the home side 36-4 before Van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp put on a partnership of 73.

The Hundred’s managing director, Sanjay Patel, said the new format’s debut was “a thrilling match” with “a brilliant atmosphere inside the crowd with lots of families and children”.

“The Hundred is all about throwing cricket’s doors open for everyone, and the response to last night’s game has been remarkable. We know this is only the first game and there is a still a lot of hard work ahead,” he added.

The Hundred continues on Thursday on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 18:00 BST, with the men’s fixture of Oval Invincibles v Manchester Originals.

Coverage of all games continues on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Sport online.

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