The Hundred heads back to Edgbaston on Friday evening for what is a huge game for the two teams involved as the Birmingham Phoenix take on the Northern Superchargers in what should be a hugely entertaining game.
The Phoenix go into the match in third place in the table and a win here will do their qualifying chances the world of good. Anything but a win here and the Superchargers can kiss goodbye to any hopes of extending their season.
The Birmingham Phoenix put their undefeated Edgbaston record on the line here in what is their third home match of the season. So far in the history of The Hundred they have played six matches at Edgbaston and they have won the lot and cruised home in most of them. That was the case in the last match against the Trent Rockets on Monday night where at no point where they not in control of the contest. Another performance like that will give them every chance of succeeding.
It is hard to find something that was wrong with the win over the Rockets. I guess if you were being extra harsh you could argue that a seventh wicket partnership in the 90s isn’t ideal but to be fair to the two batters involved they played extremely well. It might be that the Phoenix have a few concerns at the death of the innings without Adam Milne but the chances are they’ll have taken a number of wickets before then anyway.
The Northern Superchargers opened the tournament with an emphatic win over the Manchester Originals but it has been pretty slim pickings for the Leeds based outfit since then as they have lost their last three matches. That means they are invitees to the last chance saloon bar in this match and it will be interesting to see if they have it within them to bounce back and keep their hopes of qualifying alive.
They are obviously going to have it tough here but the one thing which might suit them is the dimensions of the Edgbaston ground these days is nothing like it used to be so their bigger hitters will certainly be able to clear the ropes. It will be with the ball they really need to be on it though because the Phoenix batting comes at you right from the off and never relents. The Superchargers will need early wickets if they are going to stay in the contest.
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Moeen Ali took a while to get going with the bat on Monday night but when he did he sent balls sailing into the crowd. He opened the bowling in that game too and with a left-hander opening for the Superchargers the Birmingham captain could take the ball from the off again.
Adam Hose has threatened a big performance for the Northern Superchargers so far in this tournament but he hasn’t been able to deliver it. He is on his home ground in this match and will look to use his knowledge of conditions to his advantage.
I’ve got to think sixes are going to be the order of the day here. They usually are when the Birmingham Phoenix are at home not just because Edgbaston has some short boundaries but also because of the way the Phoenix go about their cricket. There is no backing down as we saw on Monday night when some hostile bowling from the Trent Rockets met fire with fire. The home side certainly aren’t going to back down here but there is nothing in terms of speed in the Northern Superchargers attack to spook them.
The Superchargers bring plenty of batting mite with them themselves though. Adam Lyth showed at The Oval last week that he doesn’t need short boundaries to hit sixes and in fairness all the way down to Roelof van der Merwe at something like number eight the Superchargers hit sixes. Birmingham do have some canny bowlers but the one thing the Northern side have are plenty of lefties to counteract the spin and a short boundary so I expect the sixes to keep flowing here.
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