Ed Hawkins says shorting runs is a must when Manchester Originals play Northern Superchargers in The Hundred at Old Trafford on Wednesday night...
"Superchargers may well be grateful for the preparation that another poor surface at Trent Bridge provided. The groundsmen at the two venues obviously didn't get the marketing memo..."
Manchester Originals v Northern Superchargers
Wednesday 27 July 18.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
It's all change for the Originals, who lose Jos Buttler to England duty and will have to wait until the finals (if they qualify, of course) for him to return.
Buttler leaves after posting a top-bat win in the bowler-dominated success over Birmingham Phoenix on an outrageous Old Trafford surface. More on that later.
Buttler's opening slot will probably go to Colin Munro, although it's possible they could try Tom Lammonby up front given his hitting power. Sam Hain should get a chance in the middle order regardless. Phil Salt or Joe Clarke will take the gloves.
Lockie Ferguson has yet to appear for Originals because of injury. If he is fit he will probably replace Steven Finn. Matt Parkinson, man of the match against Birmingham, will lead a spin-heavy attack including Tom Hartley and Calvin Harrison.
Possible XI: Salt, Munro, Clarke (wkt), Hain, Lammonby, Brathwaite, Harrison, Hartley, Klaasen, Parkinson, Finn
Superchargers have suffered two defeats out of two. Their bowlers went round the park against Welsh Fire. Then they failed to post a challenging-enough total on another raging turner against Trent Bridge. They need a win and fast.
Ben Stokes will not be around to help. He leaves for England duty. And with Faf Du Plessis out with concussion symptoms, the Superchargers' squad is beginning to look thin. Dane Vilas has been signed as cover and surely he will get a game.
Stokes is a big miss when you look at the possible XI below. They lose batting power and a sixth bowling option. Another tricky wicket, however, may mean that the latter is not such an issue. Callum Robinson adds spin depth alongside Adil Rashid and Mujeeb-ur-Rahmann.
Possible XI: Lyth, Lynn, Brook, Kohler-Cadmore, Vilas, Simpson, Willey, Rashid, Mujeeb, Parkinson, Carse
Stokes called the Old Trafford surface "horrific" after Phoenix could manage only 87. Superchargers may well be grateful for the preparation that another poor surface at Trent Bridge provided. The groundsmen at the two venues obviously didn't get the marketing memo. A score of 120-130 batting first should be extremely competitive. So don't expect sides to go hell for leather.
There's no harm in betting under for the average score so far at 135. There's a small chance we might be able to lay 137.5 or more at 2.01/1 on the runs market. Laying 90 or more, 100 or more and 110 or more for total runs is another option.
The powerplay average is 35 for the tournament. It looks like another short on this wicket. There are some showers around, too, so there's a possibility of losing 'overs'.
The match odds market can't split the two with odds hovering around that 1.9520/21 mark. And that is absolutely right.
Whoever bats first is very likely to get bogged down and the market will have little faith in a team defending a 120 score. At the break the side bowling first should be clear favourites.
A strategy for affairs at Old Trafford and Trent Bridge could be to take decent numbers on low scores being defended.
It will also be interesting to see what sort of price you can get a team at this venue with the average score on the board. Anything at 1.804/5 or better is a wager.
Munro is available at 5/1 to top score for Originals with Sportsbook. If he opens that's massive. And it's not a poor price if he doesn't. Lammonby is 8/1 and a couple of points could be added in-play. Indeed, why not just say to a hitter: "Go out and be reckless for 20 balls because on this surface there'll be one with your name on."
For Superchargers, the excellent Harry Brook catches the eye again at 4s. Tom-Kohler Cadmore could bat anywhere from three to six and is attractive at 15/2.
Matt Parkinson is 11/4 for top Originals bowler while Callum Parkinson's 9/2 appeals about top Superchargers bowler. There really seems little point in betting pacers who could not get their full quota.
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