London Spirit v Manchester Originals
Monday 8 August, 18:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
London have Spirit
Spirit won only once last season (against Originals by the way). So after success in game one against Oval they are already in a good place. And they should be the smartest team out there with Messrs Bayliss, Morgan and Pollard calling the shots.
Possible XI: Crawley, Rossington, Maxwell, Lawrence, Morgan, Pollard, Thompson, Dawson, Wood, Ellis, Crane
Originals were beaten by Superchargers after they failed to defend 161. New signing Sean Abbott came in for treatment with the ball so we're predicting potential combination changes. They are stacked with batting power, however.
Possible XI: Buttler, Salt, Madesen, Russell, Walter, Evans, Turner, Abbott, Hartley, Klaasen, Parkinson
All four matches at HQ were won by the side batting first. But none of them were the Spirit so we won't get carried away with that stat. The first-innings scores were mixed. A total of 145 or more was busted three times. With the par runs line likely to settle at the high 140s it's a risky short. At least these two have early form for being a little leaky in the field. Remember Spirit got home by three runs only versus Oval after posting 171. Bet the runs line here
How to play
Spirit are 2.001/1 and Originals 1.9420/21. It could be that originals are outstanding value and the market has overreacted to that opening day win for Spirit. The truth is that the market knows the toss is key. Bat first, bat well and then hope that scoreboard pressure does the rest. The side batting first should be odds-on comfortably at the break. Bet the match odds here.
Buttler has been boosted to 5/2 by Sportsbook for top bat for Originals. He won last time. Andre Russell is 6/1. But the hard-hitting Paul Walter may be underrated at 12s. Russell may be big at 6s for top bowler with Originals tempted to use him instead of Abbott at the death. For Spirit Adam Rossington should be shorter than 7/2 given that he opens. Bet Sportsbook odds here.