Manchester Originals v Northern Superchargers
Friday 5 August, 18:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Dre Russ in
Originals could well be fast starters. They boast Jos Buttler, Andre Russell and Wanindu Hasaranga. Whether they keep it up remains to be seen. They could lose the latter two due to CPL and Asia Cup duty. Jamie Overton is out of the tournament due to injury so Fled Klaasen or Ollie Robinson could play as pacers instead of Tom Hartley as a spinner.
Possible XI: Buttler, Salt, Madsen, Russell, Evans, Turner, Hasaranga, Abbott, M Parkinson, Hartley, Gleeson
Northern Superchargers have gone for experience with Faf Du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo and Wahab Riaz as core overseas picks. Brydon Carse is out with injury meaning that David Wiese may struggle to force his way into the XI given slim pace depth. We'd probably prefer him for betting purposes to Wahab.
Possible XI: Lyth, Du Plessis, Brook, Hose, Simpson, Willey, Bravo, Rashid, Wahab, Potts, C Parkinson
Only two games were completed at Old Trafford last term, producing scores of 142 and 87. It was a spin bowler's paradise in the first match with 12 of 14 wickets falling to tweakers as Phoenix could manage only 87. An opportunity to go under the runs line at 142.5 could be too good to miss. Bet the market here.
How to play
Originals probably have the edge in this one because they have the option to use four bowlers who are purveyors of high-quality spin. Poor Adil Rashid is rather on his lonesome for Superchargers. For that reason the 1.774/5 is justified.
Given Rashid has little in the way of spin rivalry the 5/2 with Sportsbook that he finishes Superchargers top wicket-taker might not be the worst bet. With the bat, it wouldn't be a surprise if David Willey batted as high as No 3. He is 15/2. Buttler has been boosted to 12/5 for Originals. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Who wins The Hundred? Find out on Cricket...Only Bettor
Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix
Saturday 5 August, 14:30
TV: live on Sky Sports/BBC2
Phoenix still strong
Phoenix were the best team in the tournament on the data but had a bad day at the office in the final. They are a decent pick on the outright as a trade. Injuries have hit early with Tom Abell, Adam Milne, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone out at present. They do have remarkable depth, though.
Possible XI: Smeed, Wade, Livingstone, Moeen, Benjamin, Hammond, Mousley, Howell, Richardson, Fisher, Tahir
Rockets seem heavily reliant on a fast start from Alex Hales and his oening partner, who could be tom Kohler-Cadmore or Dawid Malan. Curiously they seem to be short of a batter and a bowler. Rashid Khan is obviously the super star. They will be well-coached by Andy Flower.
Possible XI: Hales, Kohler-Cadmore, Malan, Munro, Gregory, Moores, Patel, Rashid, De Lange, Cook, Wood
Trent Bridge and Headingley are the pitches with two worst economy rates for spin bowlers in Blast cricket in the last five years. But it could be a mistake by the TB groundstaff to prepare a burner for Rashid by bringing less able spinners closer to his level. Phoenix will hope it spins as it suits their bowling options. Three out of four matches were won by the chaser last terms with three scores in the 130s. The odd one out was the 166 defended by...Phoenix
How to play
Phoenix are 1.9210/11 and that looks like a wager. Despite the injuries they appear to have better balanced XI. Bet the match odds here. Their aggressive batting style up front can cause panic in teams and Rockets were on the receiving end last season.
Spin hitters Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone are eyecatching at 5/1 and 6/1 respectively for top match bat. Livingstone made 50 from 31 in the corresponding fixture last term. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.