- The Hundred
- Wednesday, August 3 - Saturday, September 3, 2022
Take out all the debate over whether the Hundred is a good or bad thing for English cricket, it provided decent entertainment last year with minimal star quality.
A good number of household names were unable to take up overseas contracts due to Covid issues. This year, however, is different. There are plenty of big names, and the cricket should be of a higher standard - for both genders.
Each team plays eight group games (the women only six this year alone because of the Commonwealth Games), the top team advances directly to the final on September 3, and teams two and three playoff in an effective semi-final.
Right, let’s get into it ahead of the opening match between Southern Brave and Welsh Fire at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.
Brave the favourites, but Originals look like an improving force
Southern Brave are the 10/3 favourites to win the men’s event. In an embryonic competition, that’s no great surprise. And they are a good side, who will be there are thereabouts again.
They have gone top heavy on overseas batters in Finn Allen, Tim David, Quinton de Kock and Marcus Stoinis, and I would be surprised if they don’t make it to the knockouts again.
But, looking a bit further down the list, the Manchester Originals stand out as a squad capable of bettering their only two wins from eight games last season.
What was a largely uninspiring squad last year has been transformed. Jos Buttler is set to be available for the entire competition, Andre Russell is there as an all-rounder, added to fellow overseas players Wanindu Hasaranga, Sean Abbott and Ashton Turner.
To me, the 7/1 shots with Paddy Power look to have all bases covered.
Power and guile with the bat; Buttler, Russell, Salt, Madsen, Turner, Evans, Lammonby. Pace; Gleeson, Jamie Overton, Abbott. Spin; Hartley, Hasaranga, Parkinson.
Included in that list is plenty of experience in terms of winning short-form tournaments.
Leading lights with bet365
Bet365 are offering markets on leading run-scorers and top wicket-takers for the men’s event.
There are many short prices in these marks, but a few things stand out.
The first is the 11/4 on Will Jacks to be the Oval Invincibles top batter behind Jason Roy and Rilee Rossouw. Jacks had reasonable success at the top of the order for the Invincibles last year (146 runs in seven innings, including a top score of 44).
He has been in excellent form of late, including a blistering Championship 150 for Surrey. A different format I know, but later in his innings, he played in a very Hundred-esque way. He is also 20/1 to be the competition’s leading run-scorer.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore is 4/1 to be the Trent Rockets top run-scorer, behind Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Iain Cockbain and Colin Munro.
Kohler-Cadmore is on a £125,000 contract - the same as Rashid Khan - so he should play - and he would be a strong contender to open alongside Hales.
Kohler-Cadmore has had a disrupted summer for Yorkshire due to concussion issues. But he has been in excellent form when he’s played in Blast cricket, batting at three (396 runs, four fifties in 12 innings). He also scored a Championship century a couple of weeks ago.
He is 40/1 with bet365 to be the tournament top scorer, and I would be spreading my stakes across those bets mentioned.
Trent Rockets to shred the Oval champions of their Invincibles tag
I thought Trent Rockets would do far better than they did last year in the women’s competition. They didn’t even make the knockout stages.
The Southern Brave and the defending champions Oval Invincibles are the joint-favourites at 4/1 with many bookies.
The Brave’s team is the basis of the Southern Vipers, who have dominated regional women’s cricket over the last three years and were the runaway winners of the group phase of the inaugural Hundred. Then they had an off day in the final.
But I really like the look of the Rockets, who have strengthened this year to the tune of Australian legend Meg Lanning and her compatriots, the young leg-spin star Alana King and experienced batter Ellyse Villani, plus South African Mignon du Preez.
Add in England legends Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver, and you have an exciting backbone to a team that the domestic players can work around.
Paddy Power’s 7/1 on them to win the tournament looks like a great bet.
In fact, if I had to pick one bet to go with out of all those mentioned above, it would be this one.
Double up on tournament winners
If you want a tournament double on Manchester Originals to win the men’s event and the Trent Rockets to win the women’s, you will get a whopping 63/1 with Paddy Power.
* Odds correct at the time of writing. Subject to changes.