Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals
Saturday 30 July 14.30
TV: live on BBC2, Sky Sports
If there is one team which is confounding pre-tournament expectations, it is Welsh Fire. They have two wins from two but were expected to find life much tougher.
They have beaten Northern Superchargers and Southern Brave, twice defending a target. Jonny Bairstow, however, has been brilliant for them setting up blistering totals. He is now unavailable for the rest of the group games. Jimmy Neesham is playing his last game.
In Bairstow's place Tom Banton must take on responsibility for fast starts. Glenn Philips should move up to open. Glamorgan's David Lloyd can come in to the middle order.
Probable XI Banton, Philipps, Duckett, Neesham, Lloyd, Cobb, Cockbain, Critchley, Qais, Ball, Payne
Hain to get chance
Originals have one win, one loss and one washout. They are a tricky team to call because in their first match they came up against the Invincibles, who look a top-three side. They then defeated Phoenix thanks to a raging turner.
Jos Buttler, obviously, is no longer available. Sam Hain, the Warwickshire, hitter should come in with Colin Munro and Phil Salt opening the batting. Lockie Ferguson should come in after injury for his debut meaning Steven Finn or Fred Klaasen could miss out.
Possible XI Salt, Munro, Clarke, Hain, Lammonby, Brathwaite, Harrison, Hartley, Ferguson, Finn, Parkinson
The Cardiff surface looked good for batting when Fire posted 165 against Brave. And it remained so when Brave went off in fast pursuit. This could be a venue which bucks the trend for low scores, although do be aware it's not going to get better. The more games are played the more bowlers will come into it. Still, going over 145 is not a bad wager. We're not convinced the Fire bowling is particularly economical so we'd prefer if Originals batted first
Chaser to get big
The Bairstow factor can be seen in the odds. Originals have been made 1.865/6 favourites with Fire 2.0421/20. Man for man Originals have the edge and it will be interesting to see how Fire cope against a spin-heavy attack without Bairstow, a renowned player of tweak.
The strategy is based on Fire bowlers struggling to contain. So we expect Originals to shorten to 1.705/7 batting first. In a chase we would be confident they could get after 150 to 155. At that sort of rate they should be at least 2.305/4. The weather forecast is good.
Banton has been price-boosted by Sportsbook to 13/5 for top Fire bat. Philipps is 11/4. The Kiwi is a danger man and we note his price of 10/1 for man of the match. For Originals, Munro looks chunky at 7/2 with him expected to open.
The Hundred data
Batting 1st average score 138
RBP average 1.4
RBP average batting 2nd 1.44
145 or more 4/9
Powerplay average 35.3
Powerplay ave batting 1st 34.3
Powerplay average batting 2nd 36.3
Favourite wins 5/9
Chaser wins 5/9
Northern Superchargers v Oval Invincibles
Saturday 30 July 18.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Superchargers have conceded the highest score so far in The Hundred so losing Ben Stokes (0.8 runs per ball in that game against Welsh Fire) is far from ideal. The Superchargers squad is stretched significantly. Faf Du Plessis is still ruled out because of persistent concussion symptoms. Dane Vilas is likely to come in for Stokes.
Possible XI Lyth, Lynn, Brook, Kohler-Cadmore, Vilas, Simpson, Willey, Rashid, Mujeeb, Parkinson, Carse
Shamsi could come in
The Invincibles have not played since they opened the men's tournament with an easy victory over the Originals. Their match with London Spirit was washed out.
Sam Curran is out after joining up with England. That frees up a spot for Tabraiz Shamsi, who has replaced Sandeep Lamichhane. Saqib Mahmood is a doubt. He was injured for that match against Spirit.
Possible XI Roy, Jacks, Narine, Billings, Ingram, Evans, T Curran, Jordan, Shamsi, Sowter, Topley
Unlike Trent Bridge, Headingley has lived up to its reputation for runs. The Fire smashed 173 in the first game. Pre-tournament the surface was second to Trent Bridge on RPO in T20. It is fair to reckon that 150 should be a minimum for the team batting first.
We may have to pay at the 148 mark to over on the runs line. Unfortunately the weather forecast is poor with rain arriving right in time for the start. Losing balls looks certain.
When there is rain and cloud around in Leeds, it is generally not a smart ploy to expect runs. Seamers and swingers could well come in to play.
Sportsbook can't split the pair with 9/10 about both available. As per the pitch report that seems fair because of the impact of the weather. In a 25-ball shoot-out it is something of a lottery and we need to be cautious and wait to see the weather situation.
If rain gets involved and we lose balls, it is very hard to justify looking past the openers for top runscorer. Adam Lyth and Chris Lynn are 10/3 and 16/5 respectively with Sportsbook. Lyth has been boosted. Jason Roy has also been boosted to 3s, the same price as Will Jacks his most likely partner.
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