The group phase of The Hundred concludes with a double header of men’s action on Wednesday and while there is a huge clash in the second part of the day, the opening match between the Northern Superchargers and the Southern Brave is a dead rubber.
The Superchargers and the Brave both have three wins from seven matches and while the winner here will move to four points at least one of Manchester Originals or Oval Invincibles will reach five wins later in the day so neither of these teams can qualify now.
The Northern Superchargers have entertained us this season but the price they have sometimes paid for that entertainment has been inconsistency in results as evidenced by the fact they have lost one more match than they have won. There have been plenty of positives to take out of the campaign though and that will be even more the case if they can come out of their final match of the season with a victory to build for next term.
I think it is fair to sum up the Superchargers’ season as being excellent with the bat but they just haven’t been able to find their feet with the ball and when they are putting their squad together for next term it is probably in the bowling department they will focus their remaining resources. The Headingley outfit have won two of their last three matches and another here will show they are getting the hang of things, albeit too late to do anything this season.
I don’t think there were many people who expected the title defence of the Southern Brave to be ending in this match but a campaign which never really got going and got continually hampered by injury throughout will end at the end of this contest. It is hard to sum up how the Brave have performed this season because of all the injuries which no team can plan for. The only thing you could say is that too many big players have fallen out of form at the wrong time.
The Brave do at least have a win over the Trent Rockets last time out to fall back on for some confidence in this match. There is no competitive edge on this one so maybe those batters who haven’t been able to find form in recent matches can let the shackles come off and do so here. The Brave bowlers have tried hard but any attack which is missing four international stars is always going to struggle at this level.
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Adam Lyth is the second highest run scorer in the competition now and you sense the platform is set for him to have one last piece of fun this season. He’ll get a good batting wicket, a weakened attack and no competitive pressure on his shoulders so he can go out and express himself.
Tim David is one of those batters who hasn’t been able to show his best form for long enough this season but he finished the last game with a cameo and this ground certainly isn’t big enough to contain him if he can get going.
We have seen one or two tired pitches in the tournament over the last few days but there is no excuse for Headingley to follow that pattern because Yorkshire have taken all of their Royal London One Day Cup matches around the county and so the only cricket here in the last five weeks or so have been three The Hundred games. Yorkshire use the hybrid pitches for white ball cricket so I’m expecting a very good batting wicket here.
That can lead to this match being full of sixes. There is no competitive pressure on this one now so these two batting units can pin the ears back and let the ball sail to all parts. There is no shortage of clean hitters on show here either. The home side have Adam Lyth, Faf du Plessis, Adam Hose, Harry Brook, David Willey and David Wiese among others while the visitors have James Vince, Quinton de Kock, Paul Stirling, Tim David, Ross Whiteley and James Fuller and others. We’ve seen all season that there isn’t much in either of these two attacks so I expect the sixes to flow here and keep on flowing.
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