Fire could be doused by rain
Spirit's Ellis has little to beat
Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals
Wednesday 2 August, 15:00
TV: Live on BBC
Welsh Fire team news
It's hard to believe Jonny Bairstow plays in the opener. That's tough on Fire, then, who need a fast start. They're also light on batting with Ollie Pope injured. All-rounder Ben Green or batter Luke Wells may come in for Bairstow. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf are charged with improving the bottom team's fortunes.
Possible XI: Eskinazi, Clarke, Phillips, Abell, Wells, Willey, Douthwaite, Afridi, Rauf, van der Merwe, Ball
Manchester Originals team news
Originals are aiming to go one better after losing to Rockets in last year's final. Jos Buttler and Phil Salt are the best opening combo in the tournament. Paul Walter and Ashton Tunrer must finish the job, though. Pacer Fred Klaasen has been replaced in the squad by Ben Raine.
Possible XI: Buttler, Salt, Evans, Madsen, Turner, Walter, J Overton, Hartley, Gleeson, Usama, Little
Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals pitch report
There have been eight matches played at Sophia Gardens in The Hundred. Four of those first-innings runs have come in at 150 or fewer. Four have also been won by the side batting second. A par line of mid 140s is to be expected if Fire bat first. A slightly higher line then could be a short with Fire's pace attack admirable. Do be aware, however, that thunderstorms are forecast.
Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals match odds
Fire are 2.285/4 with Originals 1.784/5. On the basis of Afridi and Rauf's threat, combined with some heavy rainfall, might Fire be worth a chance at odds-against in a reduced-affair? Anything that bridges the gap gives them confidence one suspects.
Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals player bets
With rain around we need to be looking at openers for top bat. Double bubble, then, as Stephen Eskinazi is a wrong price at 11/26.40. He is an opener in T20. Buttler has been boosted to 23/10.
London Spirit v Oval Invincibles
Wednesday 2 August, 18:30
TV: Live on BBC2, Sky Sports
London Spirit team news
Spirit are surely going to be without Mark Wood, who has a heel injury. Dan Worrall is a decemt replacement, though. Ravi Bopara may keep Dan Lawrence out of this side if Zak Crawley is available.
Possible XI: Crawley, Rossington, Wade, Mitchell, Bopara, Thompson, Critchley, Dawson, Wood, Ellis, Crane
Oval Invincibles team news
Churn already for Oval. Ihsanullah, death bowler supreme, is out and we're not enamoured with his replacement, Spencer Johnson. Sunil Narine is available until August 13 when Adam Zampa takes over.
Possible XI: Roy, Jacks, Klaasen, Billings, S Curran, Whiteley, T Curran, Narine, Cox Briggs, Atkinson
London Spirit v Oval Invincibles pitch report
Lord's has been stodgy for batters with four from 10 first-innings producing scores of 150 or more. There's a toss bias to keep an eye on with six won by the side defending. Oval's army of apinners could tie down Spirit here so a short of the par line has appeal.
Invincibles are chalked up at 1.758/11 with Spirit expected to settle at around that 2.1011/10 mark. Spirit made the play-off last year so have they been underrated? Probably not.
They've lost Kieron Pollard and Glenn Maxwell and not really replaced that firepower. They have the nous to flip the odds, though.
Nathan Ellis should be favourite for top bowler with Wood unlikely to play. He bowls at the death so 10/34.33 has appeal. San Curran's death skills make him an interest at the same price. Heinrich Klaasen, the best hitter in the world at the moment, is 7/24.40 for top Oval bat and the pitch may be similar to the stodgy track he did well on in Dallas in the MLC.