There are two matches in The Hundred on Saturday with the first of them coming from Old Trafford where the Manchester Originals will look to fire their season into life when they take on a so far perfect Trent Rockets outfit.
The Originals were touted as title contenders at the beginning of the season but they have started like anything but that sort of team. The Rockets certainly have though and this could be one of the defining matches in the campaign for these teams.
The Manchester Originals looked like they had the squad to rival any in this competition so far but they haven’t delivered on the pitch to date with one or two key players yet to show their best form and then a couple of things going against them. They were a touch unfortunate not to win their opening match having put up a decent looking score but their run chase in their second game against the London Spirit was little short of pitiful.
The problem the Originals have had is they have conceded 160 in both matches they have played. If you translate that into usual overs that isn’t far away from 10 an over and you can’t rely on winning matches when you are shipping that many runs regardless of whether you have got Andre Russell in your ranks. The problem is the signs are starting to show that he might be a spent force which represents problems. One way to combat their bowling issues could be to bring Tom Lammonby in as that wouldn’t reduce the batting.
The Trent Rockets have had no such problems so far. They have won their opening two matches and have beaten potential title challengers in each in the form of the Birmingham Phoenix and the Northern Superchargers. Both those sides are loaded with batting mite but the Rockets kept them both under control with the exception of the odd partnership in each match, but you’re going to get them in this format because teams aren’t as likely to get bowled out.
The one thing I have been impressed with is the way the Rockets have paced their run chases. They have got off to a fast start without taking too many risks and that has allowed Dawid Malan to just control the innings which is something he is an expert in. As ever when a team dominates its initial matches the concern is that when the top order do inevitably fail those down the order haven’t had much time at the crease. That aside though, the Rockets are in good shape.
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Is there anything left in Andre Russell at the highest level? If there is the Manchester Originals could do with the Jamaican showing it here particularly with the ball. They probably have enough depth without him with the bat but the times he bowls he is a key man.
Dawid Malan has started the season like a house on fire and if he can get the Rockets off to a decent start it will allow their wealth of batters to bat around him and either push up a score or lead them to any total they get set.
On first glance I think the 4/5 on the Trent Rockets to win here is a big price with their spinners on this pitch but then you think the Manchester Originals have three of the biggest match-winners in the world in Jos Buttler, Andre Russell and Tristan Stubbs and I could do without sweating over one of those getting going and taking the game away from the Rockets. I will take one bet though and that comes in a player performance.
Although Daniel Sams isn’t a spinner, he is someone who will bowl at the start of the innings and at the end of it and he is bowling very well at the minute. He has six wickets from the opening two matches with his changes of pace working very well. That means he has 60 points in each match so far without seeing the crease with the bat. He’ll bat eventually and it might well be here and we saw for Essex earlier in the summer that he’s in decent nick with that too. He has a line of 36.5 here which means if he can get to the crease he could reduce that to needing just one wicket but even if he needs two he has shown he can get them.
Back D.Sams’ Performance – Over 36.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365