Ed Hawkins is wagering on more runs against the Welsh attack in The Hundred from Southampton on Wednesday
"De Kock showed recently in t20 against West Indies and in the IPL that he can put back-to-back scores together"
Southern Brave v Welsh Fire
Tuesday 10 August 18.30
TV: live on Sky Sports, BBC2
Brave sneaking up
Southern Brave have won three on the spin and perhaps could be slipping under the radar after losing their first two matches. Last time out a classic Quinton de Kock blitz saw off the Superchargers.
They are an odd team to get to grips with, though. That's because they buck the trend of bowling plenty of spin. Instead they're all about pace with George Garton, Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills teaming up. Had Jofra Archer been fit they'd have been even more pace-heavy.
We have been demanding Danny Briggs' consistent inclusion to help redress the balance. He finally got a game again against the Superchargers but they then left out fellow spinner Liam Dawson. Paul Stirling's part-time spin is being utilised, though. Colin de Grandhomme somehow retains his place despite being axed as a bowler.
Possible XI De Kock, Vince, Stirling, Davies, Whiteley, De Grandhomme, Jordan, Garton, Briggs, Mills, Lintott
The Fire lost their last four matches. It is some turnaround having won their first two. One of those was against the Brave.
But we know the reason. They have suffered a player drain. Jonny Bairstow, of course, is the most notable absentee but they are likely to line up with only seven players who featured in that contest. They have also lost Liam Plunkett and Lungi Ngidi, who didn't play. Ryan Higgins, who had been mean, has also been out of the side.
From ball one we said they had the worst bowling attack in the tournament and so it has proved. No team has conceded runs at a faster rate and against Birmingham Phoenix on Monday night they conceded the highest tournament score (184) so far. That puts incredible strain on a batting line-up which has plenty of talent. Few teams can cope without decent support from the bowlers. Against Phoenix they were rolled for 91.
Possible XI Banton, Cockbain, Duckett, Philipps, Du Plooy, Neesham, White, Qais Ahmed, Fletcher, Milnes, Payne
There looked nowt wrong with the Southampton surface when De Kock was smashing through the line against Superchargers for 72 off 45. In T20 (of all tournament venues) this was supposed to be the trickiest wicket. Superchargers did find it tough, manging to post only 126. They look the odd one out because Phoenix had scored 155 and still lost. With Fire's bowling wayward, Brave should be looking for a minimum of 150. We might be able to get around 2.757/4 or 160 or more. The even money Sportsbook offer about both teams scoring 130 or more and Brave winning is eyecatching.
The Hundred data
Batting 1st average score 137
RBP average 1.42
RBP average batting 2nd 1.46
145 or more 9/19
Powerplay average 31.3
Powerplay ave batting 1st 31.2
Powerplay average batting 2nd 36.5
Favourite wins 13/19
Chaser wins 12/19
Don't rule out Fire onslaught
Brave are 1.654/6 and Fire 2.3811/8. That's a terrible price about a home team whose balance is all off and are yet to really prove themselves.
The key is not to get on the wrong side of the Fire bowling. In short, they must bat first. If they do that then they have a great chance to flip the market. As we have said there is nothing wrong with their ability or intent with the bat. They actually outscored Phoenix in the powerplay. A fast start from them could provide an opportunity to trade with them at least making it a choice affair
However, if Brave were to bat second we'd bet them to get almost anything. They were nerveless in the chase against Phoenix and are well capable of chasing down up to 180. No rain is forecast.
De Kock will be all the rage to go big again. Sportsbook know this so have boosted his price to 12/5 for top Brave bat. That could be risky against this Fire attack, particularly as De Kock showed recently in t20 against West Indies and in the IPL that he can put back-to-back scores together. He is 10/3 for top match bat. James Vince is 11/4 and 5/1 respectively.
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Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l