Trent Rockets v London Spirit (men and women)
Saturday August 20, 2022, 3.30pm-7pm
The London Spirit have turned the men’s Hundred upside down.
Last year, Eoin Morgan won only one game and finished bottom of the ladder. This year, however, they are absolutely flying at the top of the table with four wins from four.
Rockets, meanwhile, have also won four, but they have played once more.
My pre-tournament title tip on Manchester Originals is not dead in the water just yet, but it’s certainly hanging in the balance after only two wins in five games.
But, having seen the vast majority of games so far, it is clear that the table isn’t lying and the Spirit and Rockets are deservedly leading the way alongside Birmingham Phoenix, who haven’t impressed me quite as much despite their obvious quality.
It wouldn’t completely amaze me if the Originals still had a say in the title race given I think they’re a far better team than the early results suggested.
They are 17/1 with Unibet to win the title, £10 better per £1 than the 7/1 on offer before a ball was bowled. The majority of firms have them at 10/1, so I wouldn’t shy away from a couple of quid on them to cap a remarkable turnaround.
London to get a Rocket - but their Spirit won’t be dented
I think the Spirit will be beaten for the first time in the competition here (7pm start).
There is very little between the two sides, and you could look at statistics and build a strong case for both sides to win this one. The Rockets have largely chased well and Spirit have largely defended well.
But I just have a feeling that the Rockets, with home advantage, will be the victors, my other reason being that I think Spirit are due to encounter a speed bump.
Rockets are the marginal favourites with the bookies, at a best price of 4/5, including bet365.
Big Show for some dough - Maxwell can shine
Australian and London Spirit all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has had a consistent and impressive tournament so far without doing anything spectacular.
In four games, from number three in the order, he has posted scores of 18, 21, 34 and 43 not out, adding a couple of important wickets with his off-spinners. He has taken the new ball with success in the last two games.
I think he is getting closer to something special with the bat, so why not in this game?
Betfair are offering a price boost on him to be the Spirit top batter in this game, at 16/5 - up from 13/5.
Another Aussie to shine, but this time for the Rockets women
Leg-spinner Alana King is fast becoming a superstar of the women’s game, and she is key to the hopes of the Trent Rockets in this tournament.
I tipped the women’s side to win the tournament before a ball was bowled, my hopes almost immediately undermined by the loss of Meg Lanning, who is taking an indefinite break from the game after a busy period of international cricket.
The Rockets have since won one, lost two, so they clearly need a win.
For me, King, an Ashes and World Cup winner plus a Commonwealth Games, gold medalist, justifies her place at the top of the market for the Trent Rockets leading wicket-taker in the afternoon clash with the London Spirit (3.30pm).
In claiming 4-15 and 1-18 in her first two appearances, including a hat-trick against Manchester, she was the Rockets’ leading wicket-taker. In her third game, she returned a brilliant 0-8 from 20 balls.
It shows her quality that she is ahead of Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver in the betting, and I would be more than happy to take bet365′s 13/5 price on her coming out on top for the third time in four games.
Aside from overseas duo Beth Mooney and Amelia Kerr, Spirit look light on batting to me, and I can see them really struggling against King’s quality.